Sanctuary Project

Sanctuary Project

Our Sanctuary Project is all about caring for our heritage and telling the story of Beverley’s right of sanctuary.

cross transparent

The origins of the Minster can be traced back over 1,000 years to John, Bishop of York, who later became Saint John of Beverley. He founded a monastery where Beverley now stands in the early years of the 8th century and retired to it after leaving York.

He died in 721. His reputation for healing the sick soon attracted huge numbers of pilgrims to his tomb, and later to an elaborate shrine.

Gradually a town began to develop to meet the needs of the pilgrims. By the fourteenth century Beverley was in the top 12 largest towns in England.

Tradition has it that King Athelstan visited John’s tomb in 934 while leading his army north to fight against the Scots. Athelstan reputedly credited his victory to Bishop John and granted ‘the right of sanctuary’ extending two miles from his tomb.

Our Sanctuary Project is all about telling Beverley’s story afresh to the present generation who continue to seek sanctuary today.