We are a new and emerging City of Sanctuary group in Lichfield. Please email [email protected] for more information about getting involved.
The Creation of Lichfield City of Sanctuary
On the 2nd March, 2019, a meeting organised by Lichfield Inter-Faith Forum attracted a wide range of people interested in establishing Lichfield and district as a City of Sanctuary. Founder of the City of Sanctuary movement, the Reverend Dr Inderjit Bhogal, explained the background to its growth since 2005.
At the end of the meeting, chaired by the Rev Warren Bardsley, it was agreed to pursue the setting up of a local group to be affiliated to the national network
A further gathering on the 20th May brought regional organiser of City of Sanctuary UK Ben Margolis to Lichfield. At this meeting, guests were invited to commit to contribute to the initiative.
On the 9th September, Warren Bardsley and Cathy Wood led a workshop during which participants signed up to a declaration of principle
The founders of Lichfield City of Sanctuary are not just faith groups, but a range of community organisations serving Lichfield, Burntwood and villages in the District Council area. Members and supporters of the steering group include representatives of Lichfield Refugee Aid and Lichfield Places of Welcome as well as places of worship such as churches and the local mosque.
Lichfield City of Sanctuary has identified its key task as being to support all who live or arrive in the area with a welcome and practical support:
The first job of the LCoS action group is to inform businesses, voluntary organisations, public services and individual residents of the initiative and to enlist their support.
So you will be hearing from us soon!
If you would like to help us or join us, or would just like to know more, contact me at [email protected]
In early 2020, the Lichfield City of Sanctuary Action Group met to prepare a vision statement, a mission statement and a set of objectives and tasks to take the organisation forward.
This work was approved by the Steering & Action Groups on 6th July:
A VISION STATEMENT for Lichfield City of Sanctuary:
To offer a vision of Lichfield as an open-hearted place where everyone, and especially the vulnerable and those seeking sanctuary, is treated with welcome, respect and understanding.
Towards a MISSION STATEMENT
What is the purpose of Lichfield City of Sanctuary?
What Lichfield might be like when we succeed:
- At markets, there will be different sorts of people with different things on sale
- People will acknowledge each other more
- Doors will be open
- People will smile more
- Children will play safely outside
- The 2012 atmosphere of the Olympics, feeling safe
- The centre will feel more like a continental market-place – chatting, shooting the breeze, bustling
- Music and street theatre
- Different languages will be heard
- Different visitors
Our aspirations are:
- To make welcome part of our Lichfield culture
- To help organisations to be proactive in reaching out
- To ditch the economic arguments about migration and push the humane arguments
- To recognise that the world is becoming an increasingly hostile environment to the poor, the displaced and otherwise vulnerable
- What tasks might the group take on this year towards achieving its mission?
Tasks addressing the inner circle:
- Support Refugee Aid
- Encourage identification of refugees for Lichfield in accordance with LDC/SCC offers/policies
- Raise awareness of refugeeism/asylum seeking in Lichfield and beyond
- Broaden the work of groups and organisations in Lichfield and district to include displaced people
- To address the second circle:
- Develop stories about vulnerable people in Lichfield and district to enable empathy
- Support organisations in developing diversity and inclusiveness in their working fields
- Develop events referencing a wide range of people
- Publicise successful diverse and inclusive initiatives in the area
- Challenge representations of Lichfield as being entirely, or substantially, white, middle-class, affluent
- Use the Commonwealth games to develop an Olympic-type atmosphere
- Develop exchange groups with different communities