Sanctuary Meetings Q&A
Detailed information about setting up as a Sanctuary Meeting.
Rooted in the conviction that there is that of God in every person, Quakers across Britain are working to welcome people seeking sanctuary.
“Through Quakers' longstanding work welcoming newcomers to our shores, we have seen up close that the government's creation of a 'hostile environment' is increasingly embedding policies of discrimination into the practices of the British state. Quakers in Britain are committed to working with others to change this, creating a culture of compassion and welcoming hospitality that answers that of God in every person."
- Sanctuary Everywhere Manifesto, Meeting for Sufferings
Hundreds of Quakers around Britain have responded to the migration crisis by acting in solidarity with refugees and migrants. Quakers in Britain as an organisation now accompanies Quakers in this work through the Sanctuary Everywhere programme.
Launched in August 2017, the Sanctuary Everywhere programme offers funding, guidance and political advocacy support to a network of Quaker local meetings who pledge to create a culture of welcome in their communities.
A Sanctuary Meeting is a Quaker Meeting that is committed to:
How a Sanctuary Meeting fulfills the commitments changes from area to area. Actions taken will vary in response to local issues, abilities and passions within the community, and the leadings of the Spirit. Here are some of the things that Sanctuary Meetings are supported to do:
By committing to being a Sanctuary Meeting, local meetings become part of an international movement to build a culture of hospitality. You will be supported with training, publicity materials, retreats, teleconferences and mutual support networks, channelled into a campaign for political change.
Quakers across Britain are working in different ways to welcome newcomers to the country. You can read stories about Quakers providing housing for destitute asylum seekers , supporting and setting up City of Sanctuary groups, welcoming resettled refugees, hosting community gardening projects, and campaigning with the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network.
There are now more than 40 Sanctuary Meetings in Scotland, Wales and England, and we can support all who choose to join them in this committment to creating sanctuary everywhere.
At your next Local Business Meeting, seek a minute committing to the three points listed above.
Email your Local Meeting minute and contact details for the two people working on the project to firstname.lastname@example.org. At least one of the two people should be a member or attender at your meeting. You will then receive support tailored to the needs of your meeting and local community.
To find out more about forced migration and what what it means to be a Sanctuary Meeting, listen to the Sanctuary editions of the Q:Witness podcast below.
To ask any questions, or to tell us that your meeting wants to be a Sanctuary Meeting, please get in touch using the below details with your name, meeting, and telephone number.
Sanctuary Everywhere Programme
020 7663 1096