Sanctuary Meetings Q and A
How to become 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.
Inspired by the Sanctuary Churches Movement in the US, a Sanctuary Meeting is a protective community with people whose basic human rights are being violated by government officials. The public practice of sanctuary also holds the state accountable for its violation of human rights.
Being a Sanctuary Meeting means your local meeting committing to building a culture of welcome, challenging racism in all of its forms and being part of changing the laws on destitution, detention, and deportation.
It might also include:
Quakers across Britain are working in different ways to welcome newcomers to the country. These include 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.
Through a 6 month listening, threshing and decision making process in early 2017, Friends expressed a desire for greater support with current work and developing new projects. Friends also wanted a more coordinated way of working together for political change.
By committing to being a Sanctuary Meeting, your local meeting becomes 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.
Meetings will be able to sign up to become Sanctuary Meetings from August 2017.
To become a Sanctuary Meeting requires a commitment from your local meeting to building a culture of welcome, challenging racism in all of its forms and working together to change the laws on destitution, detention and deportation).
It also requires at least two people to agree to be a point of contact for Friends House (involving participating in the training, retreats and catch-up etc). At least one of these people should be a member or attender at your meeting.
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