Borough of Sanctuary
Chaired by Ms Sue Grace

We believe that it is a fundamental right for someone to be able to pursue a life of dignity, health, and happiness. We see it as our duty as faith communities to embrace the virtues of love and radical hospitality and in doing so, oppose the government’s pursuit of policies which demonise, exclude and endanger migrants and refugees. Therefore, we are pushing for Brent to become a Borough of Sanctuary. This is in partnership with the national City of Sanctuary movement, which aims to create a network of towns and cities throughout the UK that are proud to be places of safety and inclusion for people seeking sanctuary.

As such, we are proud signatories of the City of Sanctuary Organisation Pledge

“We support the ‘City of Sanctuary’ vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all and proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution. We endorse the City of Sanctuary Charter, and agree to act in accordance with City of Sanctuary values and apply the network principles within our work (as far as our specific context enables us to). We recognise the contribution of people seeking sanctuary. Sanctuary seekers are welcomed, included and supported within our context. We expect affiliated members to support their local City of Sanctuary group and will facilitate contact between them and their local City of Sanctuary group.”

Past and Present Projects

As part of this effort, we are currently leading the borough’s City of Sanctuary group, coordinating efforts to increase the numbers of organisations that are committed and confirmed places of sanctuary and maximising Brent’s ability to provide joy and peace for those who are displaced and dispossessed. 

Further to this, we have also delivered a range of programmes for sanctuary seekers. First of these being our Creative Conversations project, which entailed Migrant women from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds being invited to take part in engaging and stimulating workshops, which were supported by esteemed writers, producers, performers and poets to construct a creative narrative of personal journeys to present to the wider community.

This was a project designed to share and celebrate the diverse voices of the refugee and migrant women of Brent by providing sanctuary seekers a creative outlet through which they could both express themselves and have their voices amplified and heard.

In addition to this, our Shelter of Sanctuary project entailed the foundation of a homeless shelter for 12 weeks, welcoming up to 15 men every night, with particular emphasis placed on migrants, refugees and those who have no access or recourse to public funds. This was delivered through the coordination of 7 different faith groups and significant volunteer management and helped provide exit strategies for all recipients.

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