Our Sanctuary Project tells the story of Beverley’s right of sanctuary which began in 938 – over 1,000 years ago. Originally it was for people being pursued for having been accused of breaking the law. Today people seek a place of safety for many other reasons.
The right to claim sanctuary was abolished in the early 17th century, but the principle behind it continues to inspire the Minster community today as it seeks to engage with the needs of those on the margins of society.
Such needs are very different from those of bygone days, and carry no moral stigma. However, there are all sorts of people today for whom the sanctuary of home is no more than a distant hope. This may include those who are literally homeless, for whom the Minster can be a place of shelter during the day, or those relying on the East Riding Food Bank, for whom the Minster community collects food and other necessities.
There are also those for whom life in their homeland has become untenable and who seek a place of safety in this country.
As part of its vision to be a sanctuary, the Minster partners with a range of agencies and charities, local and global, including the Open Doors refugee organisation in Hull.