A Manchester gay church has raised £800 for asylum seekers to help them get legal representation and advice.
Members of the Metropolitan Community Church, based in Victoria Park, donated money from things they gave up during Lent to the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.
Rev Andy Braunston, pastor of the 60-member church, said: "We have many asylum seekers who worship with us and we know from their experience the horror of having to flee one's own country to find sanctuary and protection in the UK. Many countries still persecute lesbian and gay people and some even impose the death penalty simply because of how we love.
Over the years we have been impressed by the outstanding work of the Immigration Aid Unit and wanted to help them continue to help some of the poorest and most excluded members of our society."
The money will be handed over in a special service this Sunday at 4pm where one church member's public asylum campaign will be launched. A short video about Prossy Kakooza, a 26 year old lesbian from Uganda, will be shown and church members will be urged to sign a petition and write to the Immigration Minister demanding that she is not returned to Uganda to face further physical and sexual attacks from the authorities.
Further details are available on the church's website: www.mccmanchester.co.uk