For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. (Matthew 25.35)

Following Government announcements about the initial Sponsorship Schemes coming into effect, the Church of England has issued some initial advice to parishes: the 'Parish Toolkit, together with additional Safeguarding Advice, can be downloaded from:

Do keep checking the Church of England website as it is likely to be updated with further information over the coming days.

The toolkit includes a brief guide to what is happening in Ukraine and the humanitarian response, together with details of organisations and appeals to support both those in Ukraine and those who have fled the country. It also contains information on how parishes and individuals can take action to support those arriving both through the family visa scheme and the humanitarian sponsor scheme, advocacy and prayer and theological resources for churches.

Please share any of the content that you feel could be useful in your local context.

The Diocesan Leadership Team, together with the Diocesan Office team, will seek to offer practical and pastoral support for those who will want to explore the possibility of hosting refugees.

As a diocese we are currently taking advice on how to enable hospitality to be offered by those who occupy clergy housing and we will provide further information as soon as we are able to do so; in the meantime you can find general information about offering hospitality and some factors to consider within the Parish Toolkit.

The document explains that currently the Homes for Ukraine scheme is based on the host naming a family known to them. Your own church may be in touch with local organisations who may be able to provide names of individuals needing assistance. If you don’t have local contacts, the Church of England is working with The Sanctuary Foundation ( to prepare for the next phase of UK support in which individuals and organisations will be able to offer sponsorship based on matching those in need with those offering accommodation. You can find out more about that scheme, and register your interest, on The Sanctuary Foundation website. Further updates about community sponsorship will be posted on this site as they become available.

Many and varied ways to support the refugees through different networks and charities are likely to emerge over the next few weeks. The Diocesan Leadership Team encourages individuals and parishes prayerfully to consider what help you may be able to offer. However, no one should be burdened by guilt – we each offer what we are able in terms of hospitality, money, time and prayer.

God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.