The St Thomas Anglican Church bells will ring at noon each Friday to support asylum seeker children detained on Nauru.
The weekly vigil will continue until no asylum seeker children remain on the Pacific island.
Archdeacon Stuart Webb confirmed St Thomas Anglican Church was supporting the #refugebell campaign to bring #KidsOffNauru.
“It’s our belief it is detrimental to the mental health and wellbeing of children and they should be removed from detention immediately,” he said.
Rural Australians for Refugees encourages all faith communities across Australia to participate in the #refugebell campaign.
The federal government announced last week it is working to remove all asylum seeker children from Nauru by the end of 2018.
The church bells will toll for each child detained on Nauru.
Pastor Michelle Webb said they wanted to pray for the children’s mental wellbeing and compassion for their plight.
“We are doing this because we want to raise awareness that we believe in them as human beings and as children who deserve a right to freedom and of love,” she said.
Michelle said the church wanted the town to know the bells would toll every Friday and she encouraged people in that moment to stop, pray and acknowledge the children still in detention on Nauru.
“Their wellbeing is important to us as a church and a community,” she said.
Pastor Lawrence Outridge said they were hoping to stand together as churches.
Anglican churches in Urunga and Bellingen are among the churches supporting the campaign.
Port Anglican youth intern Emma Webb said the young people in detention on Nauru were not being given the opportunity to know their worth and their value.
“I think we need to speak up for those who can’t speak and this is our opportunity,” she said.
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said the government had worked to get the number of children in detention down from the 8000 that it inherited to just a few now, and he was sure most Australians would welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to having all children out by Christmas.
The Anglican Diocese of Grafton has been concerned for asylum seekers detained on Nauru and Manus Island since the federal government reopened the centres in 2012, a Diocesan spokesperson said.
“Motions seeking justice and resettlement were passed through Synod, earlier this year, and letters written to the relevant government ministers of the time,” the spokesperson said.
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