The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church attended an Immigration Tribunal in Glasgow on Friday 14 September where he spoke on behalf of two members of the Cathedral Congregation in Inverness, Ellen and Russell Felber. The Felbers, who came to Inverness from the USA, had found themselves at odds with the Home Office as they applied for the Right to Remain in Scotland. To their astonishment (which was shared by those who know them) they had been told to leave the UK which meant not only leaving their home and the community in which they have been welcomed and in which they have developed friendships but also leaving behind the B&B business they had successfully developed since their arrival in Inverness.
Bishop Mark says “This process has taken many months and during that time I have witnessed the effect it has had on both Ellen and Russell and on the health of Ellen. I was surprised to be allowed to speak on their behalf in what was a very formal process but it was a privilege to do so and also to be able to support Russell, in particular, through this difficult and challenging day.
“The decision by the Tribunal on Friday to allow them to remain in Scotland was received amidst tears and smiles and I am sure that Ellen’s response through her bell ringing (Ellen is one of the Cathedral’s bell ringers) will speak louder than words in expressing the joy at the decision of the Tribunal.”