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City of Sanctuary is a movement to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Many towns and cities are members of the national network of Cities of Sanctuary, such as Sheffield, Bradford, Coventry, Bristol, and Swansea.

The movement is intended to be from the ground upwards, not something imposed by Government or Local Authority. Therefore, support from individuals, local community groups, schools, universities, sporting organizations, voluntary and statutory bodies is not only welcome but essential.

On 1st October 2016 York City of Sanctuary successful obtained national recognition. A regional meeting where news and ideas from many cities were shared. The Lord Mayor of York, Dave Taylor, and our member of parliament, Rachael Maskell, also attended to mark the occasion and wish us well.

On Friday 16th December 2016, Cllr Keith Aspen, Deputy Leader, held a meeting of official recognition by the Council of our achievement.  He is seen below with our plaque, with Paul Wordsworth, Co-ordinator of York City of Sanctuary.


What we do….

York City of Sanctuary works in several ways. As well as seeking to promote an environment of understanding and compassion within the city, we visit institutions and places of education to give talks and lead discussions. We also work with individual refugees or asylum seekers who for whatever reason find themselves in York and are unable to return to their countries of origin. As well as assisting refugees who come to York as part of government schemes, York City of Sanctuary co-ordinates visits to the city by refugees from the environs with the help of an active team of volunteers.

We also run a Facebook page with aims to share relevant local news, views and initiatives. Feel free to have a look and add your own relevant news; membership is closed (ask to join), but contributions are visible to all:


York Schools of Sanctuary

Find out more: issues + resources for educators + how to become a School of Sanctuary

Registered charity No. 1176094. Registered as ‘York City of Sanctuary’

York City of Sanctuary, c/o Quaker Meeting House, Friargate, York YO1 9RL

Link to National City of Sanctuary web site