We are all children of God no matter where we are from.

We are all children of God no matter how we got here.

1 John 3:1

We love one another as God loves us.

John 13: 34-35

People arriving in our churches seeking sanctuary have many different reasons for being there, and different stories to tell.

We welcome them all and seek to show them God’s love.

We want to tell different stories. Stories of welcome.

Across London and east Surrey, our church communities are welcoming asylum seekers, migrants and refugees from all over the world.

This year the Dioceses of London and Southwark, and Caritas Westminster have worked together to collect and tell the stories of our church communities.

You will find these below, told through film, written stories, images, and photographs.


Find here a series of five film stories of church communities across London welcoming refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.

Stories of Welcome

Our compilation film features stories of welcome from four church communities across London and east Surrey welcoming refugees, migrants and asylum seekers:-

  • Welcoming families from Afghanistan at St Paul’s Marylebone
  • Hosting asylum seekers at St Mary of the Angels, Bayswater
  • Supporting asylum seekers in hotels at the Croydon Refugee Day Centre
  • Supporting asylum seekers from the LGBTQI+ community at St James’s Piccadilly

Afghan Welcome

Afghan Welcome – St Paul’s, Marylebone. The Revd Clare Dowding and the Revd Donna McDowell of St Paul’s, Marylebone talk to us about welcoming families from Afghanistan.

Hosting asylum seekers

Hosting asylum seekers - St Mary of the Angels, Bayswater. Fr Keith Baltrop, Parish Priest of St Mary of the Angels, Paddington talks to us about hosting asylum seekers through the JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service UK) ‘At Home’ hosting project.

Supporting asylum seekers in hotels

Supporting asylum seekers in hotels- Croydon Refugee Day Centre. The Revd Linda Fox talks to us about providing clothing and other necessities to people in Home Office accommodation with the Croydon Refugee Day Centre.

Supporting the LGBTQI+ community

Supporting the LGBTQI+ community- St James’s Piccadilly Jo Gowers, Asylum and Refugee Support Advocate at St James’s Church Piccadilly talks to us about supporting practically and emotionally asylum seekers from the LGBTQI+ community.


Find here the prayers written for the Refugee Week 2022 Stories of Welcome Reception by The Bishop of Stepney, The Rt Revd Dr Joanne Woolway Grenfell.


This infographic, produced for Refugee Week 2022 helps us understand current UK resettlement pathways, and how our church communities are supporting refugees, migrants and asylum seekers within this system.


We want to share and celebrate stories of welcome, and we want to encourage others to write new stories of welcome.

Find here our Stories of Welcome pdf brochure, containing ten stories from church communities across London and east Surrey welcoming refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.


Our Diocesan Schools are often at the frontline of welcoming children and their families who have arrived in the UK seeking sanctuary. Whether Asylum seekers, refugees with settled status or migrants. We celebrate too the Stories of Welcome that so many of our schools have.

Here are two interviews to help tell those stories but also equip schools and churches in helping refugee children, particularly through the education system.

Find here an interview with Catherine Gladwell, Chief Executive of Refugee Education UK (REUK) on welcoming young refugees and asylum seekers to our churches and schools.

And a chat with Catherine Allard, Headteacher at John Keble Primary School, Brent of their experience of welcoming a wealth of refugee children from different backgrounds and what that has brought the school.

There’s useful hints advice and ideas in each of these!

How can we support young refugees through school?

Interview with Catherine Gladwell, Chief Executive of Refugee Education UK (REUK).

A Story of Welcome in a Diocese of London School

Interview with Catherine Allard, Head at St John Keble Primary School, Brent



Supporting current and potential sponsors, with information, training and networking opportunities. Also supporting the Homes for Ukraine Scheme by offering a matching, training and support service to sponsors and refugees.

Find out more

Welcome Boxes

Welcoming newly-arrived refugees and asylum seekers with love and friendship; starting with a Welcome Box of gifts to say hello.

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Hosting with Housing Justice

Housing Justice work in partnership with the Diocese of London to provide temporary accommodation for London’s destitute asylum-seekers, refugees and other forced migrants.

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Refugee Education UK

Supporting refugee children and young people to be able to get into school, college or university; to thrive academically and psychosocially whilst there; and to build the longer-term futures that are meaningful to them.

Find out more