Sanctuary Sunday – 25 June 2023

June 8, 2023

Sanctuary Sunday is marked at the end of Refugee Week and aims to promote the Church of Sanctuary programme, building cultures of welcome, hospitality and safety in our churches.

The event aims to give expression through prayer and witness to the centrality of sanctuary and hospitality to the stranger in the Christian call to love our neighbours. At its heart, this work is about connecting people, locally and globally, with respect for the dignity of every human person as made in the image and likeness of God.

Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal and Dr Jayme R Reaves have produced a resource to support individual Christians, Church communities and ecumenical groups in reflecting on the significance of sanctuary for our times, which can be used for Sanctuary Sunday. Titled Sanctuary: The Hospitality of Host, Guest and Stranger, it offers reflections, prayers and ideas for action.

Sanctuary: The Hospitality of Host, Guest and Stranger

Sanctuary: The Hospitality of Host, Guest and Stranger (PDF)

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Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogalhas has also written a collect for Refugee Week and sanctuary Sunday:

Sanctuary Sunday Collect

Sanctuary Sunday Collect (Docx)

BBC Radio 4 Prayer for the Day

Richard Reddie, Director of Justice and Inclusion for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), provides a spiritual comment and prayer on 13 June 2023 reflecting on Refugee Week and Britain’s rich history of offering sanctuary. Please see BBC Radio 4 Prayer for the Day.

Resources from Scottish Faith Action for Refugees

Scottish Faith Action for Refugees has produced a brand new resource for churches looking to mark Sanctuary Sunday, The God who sees me (PDF). It offers individuals and congregations a range of suggested material which can be used to develop worship for Sunday services. In it you will find reflections on bible passages, sermon ideas, personal stories, all-ages activities and creative ideas to express lament and hope. It is also available as a web version.

A video and discussion series, Journeys of Faith and Welcome, has also been made to celebrate the stories of people seeking safety and faith communities, and the role faith has played in their journeys of seeking, finding and offering sanctuary. These videos can be used during worship gatherings, mid-week meetings, or as a basis for discussion groups.

Please see the Scottish Faith Action for Refugees website for additional resources.

Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT)

JPIT has produced a Sanctuary Sunday prayer for Church communities to join in with saying on 25 June 2023.

It also has a link to a list of suggested hymns and songs you could use on Sanctuary Sunday, from the Methodist Church’s Singing the Faith Plus.

See the JPIT website for the prayer and link to hymns.

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