A book review- “Boaz Trust as an embodiment of social grace”

Over the last 5 years, Boaz Trust founder Dave Smith, has written two books, as a personal project to document and reflect on his work with people seeking asylum in the UK.

The Book of Boaz was published in 2014 and tells Dave’s personal account of the first ten years of Boaz. The second, Refugee Stories, was published two years later and shares powerful stories based on interviews Dave carried out with eight individuals who have stayed with Boaz over the years.

We recently received a copy of a fantastic and thought provoking review written by Rev Dr Michael Smith SJ, which was published in The Way magazine. We’re grateful to Rev Dr Smith and The Way for allowing us to share the review here. In this article, Rev Dr Smith reflects on the hidden violence so many people experience as they seek asylum here in the UK, using Johan Gaultung’s typology of violence to illustrate three different forms of violence experienced. He explores structural violence (inflicted by the asylum process) in relation to other, perhaps more obvious types of violence including cultural violence and direct violence.

Michael Smith concludes that Boaz is perhaps working as an ’embodiment of social grace’, serving as an antidote to this structural violence (or social sin).

“Boaz opposes the structural violence embedded in the asylum system by walking with refugees and providing them with well-organized, just and loving support.”

We love this summary of our work and found it so encouraging to read this review which captures our essence so well!

As we enter our 15th anniversary year, we wanted to take this opportunity highlight Dave’s two books, and commend them to anyone who is interested in finding out more about the history of our work with people seeking sanctuary here in Greater Manchester and beyond.

(The links above are to Hive, but both books should be available to purchase from other online and offline booksellers!)