Could you provide a place of welcome, hospitality and sanctuary for people with no recourse to public funds?
The Sunday International Group at St Martin-in-the-Fields was set up in September 2013 aiming to provide a place of welcome, hospitality and sanctuary for foreign nationals who are destitute in London, focusing especially on those with no recourse to public funds. It provides a hot meal, access to showers and laundry and helps with essential needs. It provides social interaction and a sense of community with others in similar situations and with the volunteers.
St Martin’s encourages and supports other churches in providing similar international groups and helps provide a framework and sharing of experience about how this might be possible. Each new initiative depends on the needs of your area and the resources you have available.
Support from St Martin’s for this initiative can include:
- visits to the Sunday International Group at St Martin-in-the-Fields;
- advice from St Martin’s staff;
- copy of Guide to running the Sunday International Group; and
- start-up funding of up to £5,000 to cover cooking and washing equipment (i.e. rice cookers, chafing dishes, washing machine, dryer etc.).
Churches providing International Groups (with support from St Martin’s) include:
- Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church – Evening Centre on Tuesday evenings;
- Christ Church with St Laurence Brondesbury – St Laurence’s Larder; and
- St James Piccadilly.
For more information contact Revd Jonathan Evens, Associate Vicar for Partnerships on 02077661127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.