This paper examines the role of Christian congregations in addressing the social exclusion barriers experienced by seasonal agricultural workers (SAWs). This research study reviews the ways in which local churches support SAWs specifically in the Niagara Region. This paper also examines the benefits and limitations of this support and thus offers recommendations to enhance the future work of congregations in this area. This study reveals the evolving role of Christian congregations from offering only fellowship and spiritual services to SAWs to responding to their true needs in areas such as transportation, health care, language, and social inclusion. Because SAWs continue to face significant social exclusion barriers and still remain ineligible for settlement services in Ontario, it is important that congregations continue to do this work, meeting the needs of SAWs and growing in their ability as social service providers.
Key words: seasonal agricultural workers (SAWs), congregations, Christian, the Niagara Region, social services, settlement support, social exclusion, needs