Rooted in the conviction that there is that of God in every person, Quakers across Britain are working to welcome people seeking sanctuary.

Since 2018, with the support of Quakers in Britain, over 100 Quaker meetings have become Sanctuary Meetings. Sanctuary Meetings are committed to joining local initiatives to build a culture of welcome, building alliances with groups opposing racism and to work to change the laws on destitution, detention, deportations and removals.

Get involved

    Featured event

    Sanctuary network event: Housing

    A Sanctuary Meetings Network event focused on housing people who have experienced forced migration, refugees and asylum seekers.

    What are Sanctuary Meetings been doing?

    How a Sanctuary Meeting fulfils the commitments changes from area to area. Actions taken will vary in response to local issues, abilities and passions, and the leadings of the Spirit. Here are some of the things that Sanctuary Meetings have been supported to do:

    • Building alliances with migrant or BAME-led anti-racist groups in their area, including by offering room grants.
    • Holding regular public meetings with other local groups, especially people with direct experience of being discriminated against by the border system.
    • Lobbying local politicians. Lots of sanctuary meetings have used our Sanctuary Everywhere Manifesto to inform their demands.
    • Offering accompaniment to people seeking sanctuary in negotiating 'everyday borders' such as healthcare and the education system
    • Assisting campaigns that use direct action to resist deportation.

    You can read stories about the in different ways Quakers have welcomed newcomers to the country, by 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.

    Watch the video below to get a quick overview of the work Sanctuary Meetings, individual Quakers and Quakers in Britain staff have done to support refugees and migrants.

    Pressing play on the video below will set a third-party cookie. Please see our cookies page to find out more.

    20 Simple Acts: Quakers in Britain #refugeeweek from Quakers in Britain on Vimeo.

    If after reading this page, you think your local or area meeting s may be interested in becoming a Sanctuary meeting, please email Sanctuary@quaker.org.uk for more information. If your meetings has already explored this concern and is ready to register as Sanctuary meetings, please complete tell us using this form.

    Connect with other sanctuary meetings

    Working on issues of social justice presents many challenges. Many meetings have found that connecting with other sanctuary meetings has helped to share ideas, deepen understanding, support collaboration. Working together on joint initiatives and projects that perhaps would not be possible by one group alone. Find a list and a map of the meetings that are part of the sanctuary meetings network.

    Image of map of sanctuary meetings


    Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN)

    A long standing network of Quakers who have been campaigning and advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees. QARN is a Quaker Recognised Body and has an active email list which may be useful for Friends working on migration. Visit the QARN website.

    Homes for Ukraine scheme

    Many Quakers have been asking about how to support Ukrainians seeking sanctuary in the UK. Our Homes for Ukraine page details all the information we have about the scheme and offers some other ways to support those fleeing violent conflict.

    Useful resources

    Since 2018 the sanctuary everywhere programme has worked closely with the others in the migrant and social justice movement to develop a number of resources. You can find a full library of these on our resources page.

    Featured blog

    Why compassion needs to be at the heart of our response to Channel crossings

    27 August 2020 by Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network

    Bridget Walker outlines why safe routes and a culture of welcome need to be central to the UK's response to Channel crossings.

    Contact us

    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.

    020 7663 1071

    sanctuary@quaker.org.uk