Sanctuary Sunday 2024

What’s it all about?

Churches across Scotland and worldwide are encouraged to celebrate Sanctuary Sunday (also called Refugee Sunday) on 23 June 2024. This is the last Sunday during ‘Refugee Week’ and after ‘World Refugee Day’. There are more displaced people in the world today than at any other point in history and the Bible is clear in its expression of God’s loving concern for the stranger and refugee. Celebrating Sanctuary Sunday is an opportunity to express our prayers and solidarity, but also to raise awareness again of our Christian calling to welcome the stranger and do this openly and proudly.

We are creating a brand new resource for churches looking to mark Sanctuary Sunday. We will release it hear as soon as it is ready. In the meanwhile you might be interested in viewing last year’s resource ‘The God who sees me’ or our worship resource ‘God with us’

More Sanctuary Sunday resources

Journeys of Faith and Welcome video and discussion series

Journeys of Faith and Welcome are a series of videos produced by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees and Faith in Community Scotland to celebrate the stories of people seeking safety and faith communities, and the role faith has played in their journeys of seeking, finding and offering sanctuary. These videos can be used during worship gatherings, mid-week meetings, or as a basis for discussion groups. We also hope the videos will inspire people across Scotland to play their part in building welcoming and cohesive communities. 

Follow this link to find a short description of each video, proposed discussion questions and a link to the video.

The God who sees me – Sanctuary Sunday 2023

Together with refugees, asylum seekers and local churches we produced a worship resource for Sanctuary Sunday 2023 based on the story of Hagar fund in Genesis 21. It focuses on Hagar’s tory as a woman driven from her home, and how God met her in her suffering. ‘The God whos sees me’ offers individuals and congregations a range of suggested material which can be used to develop worship for Sunday services. In it you will find reflections on bible passages, sermon ideas, personal stories, all-ages activities and creative ideas to express lament and hope.

Download our 2023 resource ‘The God who sees me’. Click here for a web content version.

Sanctuary Stories

The theme of 2022’s Refugee Festival Scotland was ‘storytelling’ and we collated 5 stories told by people seeking and offering sanctuary to inspire conversation and prayer in the days leading up to Sanctuary Sunday. They can be downloaded as a complete set here. Please feel encouraged to use them in your mid-week prayers, discussions, devotions and bible studies.

God with us worship resource

God With Us is a set of free worship resources on the theme of refugees, migration and sanctuary. Within the booklet, you will find material for prayer and worship relating to the theme of refugees. We offer it as inspiration for people looking for ideas. It contains Bible studies that could be used to aid reflection in public worship or by small groups. There are also offerings of prayers for intercession, thanksgiving and for special occasions. We make suggestions for hymns, songs, chants and music that could be appropriate. There are ideas for children’s talks, school assemblies or group discussion activities. And, throughout, we share personal stories and poetry – which we invite you to use for your own personal devotion or as part of a church service.