This project is in its infancy: we are working to gauge the level of interest in Sanctuary, which will help us to improve this offering. To register your interest, click here:
Sanctuaries: What to expect
The BPT is encouraging the uptake of sanctuary, and is working hard to facilitate the project – but each centre is responsible for sanctuary within their community.
You should not expect a rise in your insurance premium as a result of up taking the sanctuary project. Ecclesiastical Insurance Group – the major provider of insurance to churches in England – is supportive of the project, and has made those churches insured by them this guarantee that no additional premium would need to be charged for hosting as this is automatically included within your policy cover. If another group insures your church, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do to help.
As the project expands, we will work with other insurers to ensure a similar insurance agreement can be made for non-Christian centres taking on the sanctuary project.
Each sanctuary will need to allocate a coordinator, or coordinators, to organise pilgrim sanctuary. They will be responsible for taking and organising bookings, problem solving, and liaising with other sanctuaries where necessary.
If you don’t have basic sanitary facilities, we cannot recommend you to pilgrims for overnight sanctuary: however, many centres in this position are choosing to provide ‘daytime sanctuary’. This gives pilgrims the use of plug sockets, taps, kettles, etc. – in exchange for a donation. ‘Daytime sanctuaries’ will also be listed on this webpage.
You will need to organise a method for taking digital donations ahead of time: the BPT will provide pilgrims with a form through which to give their details and proof of identification, but it will be up to each sanctuary to take and verify these details.
Any restrictions of access to sanctuary (for example, only over the summer months, no alcohol to be consumed on the premises, no under 18’s…) should be clearly outlined to the BPT, so that we can relay this information on our website. Each sanctuary should decide upon such restrictions individually.
Every sanctuary must form its own safeguarding policy, and should make pilgrims aware, ahead of time, of other pilgrims sharing the sanctuary overnight.
You should expect to meet and welcome pilgrims into your community! For those centres already involved in the project, the experience of providing sanctuary has been incredibly rewarding: sanctuary is not only a way of producing donations, but a way to enrich your community by welcoming transient travellers into them.
The BPT has developed a series of FAQ’s for those centres considering uptaking the sanctuary project. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive these, or for any other queries.