SiC Becomes a Registered Charity

After nearly three years of responding to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers as they arise, SiC is developing a clearer and more coherent structure to help all supporters find a direct route to opportunities actively to join in our work. Many supporters help through donations – both regular and one-off – but a good number of people who want to work to support refugees find it hard to work out how best to do this.

We expect to receive approval from the Charity Commission in the next 4 weeks for our proposed status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. On this link you will find a paper in 2 parts setting out the structure of our work. Part 1 is an executive summary equal to one side of A4. Everyone is encouraged at least to read that part. Many will then want to skip straight to the section(s) they are most interested in by going to the relevant numbered paragraph in the main part of the paper – part 2.

We are keen to engage as many people as we can in our work and there is plenty for everyone to do.

In two weeks time a circular will go out – on the web-site and by email – inviting all supporters to choose an area of work they would like to be part of.

We plan to follow this up with a launch event for SiC as a registered CIO at which we hope to get together as many of our network members as possible.

SiC is looking for an Intern!

Sanctuary in Chichester is looking for an Administration and Communications Intern for a period of 9-12 months. The ideal candidate will share our values and have strong IT and communications skills and the initiative and drive to work independently. They will play a key role in helping us co-ordinate our projects and systems as we prepare to become a registered charity. The intern will experience work in a growing refugee organisation, and they will have the opportunity to develop a huge range of skills working in a very varied and exciting role.

The role is largely home-based, although it will involve attending work-related meetings/events around West Sussex. The successful applicant will report to our Chair, Roger Pask. This will be a full-time voluntary role, with a generous compensation offer which is specified in the job description.

If you would like to see the full job description, please contact Alternatively, if you know of anyone outside our network who might be suitable, please encourage them to get in touch.

The Great Sanctuary Cake Bake!

The Great Sanctuary Cake Bake: Can you rise to the challenge?

Looking for something to do during the interminable school holidays/balmy summer evenings? Look no further…

As if it’s not hot enough already, we’re now asking you to put your oven on! Throughout the summer, we’re asking our supporters to bake the best cakes in the world (or near enough) and sell them to help reach our fundraising goal of £40,000, to support our work with refugees and asylum seekers.

Bake with the kids, bake with friends, bake with neighbours!

And invite people to join you in a small cake sale or tea party.

Do take photographs of your cakes and event, and we’ll publish them on the website. And then send a cheque for the money you raise – no matter how small – to Sanctuary in Chichester, PO Box 794, Chichester, PO19 9UL. Please make cheques payable to Sanctuary in Chichester.

Ready, steady, bake!

Have a look at the bakes so far…


Sanctuary in Chichester passes halfway stage in its fundraising campaign

We have raised an extraordinary £20,000 since we launched our fundraising campaign just eight months ago. This impressive sum – which represents 50% of our target – has come via such varied means as concerts, grant bids, donations and greeting card sales.

Our success to date has given us great confidence that we’ll reach our goal of £40,000, and so be able to sustain and expand our support for refugees and asylum seekers in West Sussex.


We’ve got a pipeline of future events and activities lined up to support our appeal:

• Throughout August we’re asking supporters to bake and sell cakes on our behalf and to send a cheque for the proceeds – however small – to Sanctuary in Chichester, PO Box 794, Chichester, PO19 9UL.

• On Sunday 7 October, at 6pm, soprano Rebecca Grove and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Peat will sing to the accompaniment of harpist Frances Kelly, at Holy Trinity Church, Bosham.

• On Saturday 13th October, at 7.30pm, we are holding a barn dance at the Fishbourne Centre, with live music, a caller, a raffle and a ploughman’s supper. The event will be a great opportunity for our community to come together and enjoy an evening of music and dancing. Buy tickets here.

Seeking new fundraisers

Our fundraising success is due to the generosity of our supporters – and the efforts of our voluntary fundraising committee. We are looking for new recruits to attend our monthly meetings and to plan and help with events and other fundraising activities. If you are interested in joining the team, please mail us at

Sanctuary in Chichester notelets


We have recently had our very own notelets printed! As you can see from the images, the card features a beautiful garden scene. On the back is the City of Sanctuary branding so that anyone receiving the notelet can learn more about us.

We will be selling the notelets at our drop-in sessions and coming events, so be sure to come along if you’d like to get your hands on them…

Notelets are available in packs of five for £2.50.

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Fundraise for us for free on easyfundraising!

Sanctuary in Chichester is now a registered cause on the website “easyfundraising”, making it simple for you to fundraise for us – for free!

easyfundraising partners with a huge range of online retailers such as John Lewis, Amazon and  eBay, and these shops give a donation to a chosen cause whenever you shop with them.

To raise money for us, please click here and sign up by clicking “Join us”. Then simply visit the easyfundraising website before shopping to choose the retailer.

We would really appreciate you raising some extra funds for us in this way, so if you have the time please do sign up!

Fundraising concert success


A Chichester concert has raised almost £800 in aid of Sanctuary in Chichester and Portsmouth’s Friends Without Borders, both of which provide support for asylum seekers and refugees.

At In Search of Sanctuary, held at St Paul’s Parish Centre on 2 June, performers used poetry readings, music and song to explore the refugee experience. The accomplished singers and pianists and a violinist, clarinettist, cellist, guitarist and fiddle player performed an eclectic range of pieces from classical and pop music, to folk and musical theatre, interspersed with poetry.

The event – which raised a grand total of £797.40 – was organised by soprano Rebecca Grove, with support from her father Chris Grove and friend, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Peat.

Rebecca Zeman, from Sanctuary in Chichester, said: “Saturday’s concert was a wonderful and moving occasion, with extraordinary performances from all those who took part.

“We would like to extend a huge thanks to Rebecca, in particular, for her hard work in organising the event, to all the performers, and to everyone who gave so generously. The money raised will be a huge help in supporting our work.”

• On 7 October, at 6pm, Rebecca and Stephanie – along with harpist Frances Kelly – will perform in another fundraiser for Sanctuary in Chichester at Holy Trinity Church, Bosham.

Sanctuary in Chichester barn dance

On Saturday 13th October, Sanctuary in Chichester is putting on a barn dance! The event will be a great opportunity for our community to come together and enjoy an evening of music and dancing – all in aid of refugees and asylum seekers.

Portsmouth folk band Squinty McGinty’s will be playing, with caller and valued Sanctuary volunteer Helen Floyd leading the dances. The evening will kick off at 7.30pm and dancing will continue until late.

Tickets cost £15 and include a Ploughman’s supper, and there will be a licensed bar. We’ll also be holding a raffle with prizes kindly donated by Fontwell Park Racecourse, Chichester Festival Theatre, CRED Jewellery and Montezuma’s among other local businesses and organisations.

Tickets for the barn dance are available through Eventbrite. Alternatively, you can send an email to and pay by bank transfer.

It’s set to be a brilliant night – we very much hope to see you there!

7.30pm, Saturday 13th October.
Fishbourne Centre, Blackboy Lane, Fishbourne, Chichester, PO18 8BE.

Trip to Gaston Farm


The original idea of a walk up to Nore Folly and through Slindon woods was abandoned because of muddy footpaths and ankle deep puddles. Fortunately, an attractive alternative was close at hand: lambing at Gaston Farm in Slindon. And so our plan B became an A star occasion.

It was a beautiful sunny Spring day, quite a rare occurrence during March 2018. In total we were a happy band of eighteen, including two children. Cars parked, we approached the farm buildings with a sense of anticipation not at all sure what we might see. First stop was a hangar size building where our friends were introduced to the British tradition of queuing, even though it wasn’t clear what lay beyond. Our reward was to be seated on straw bales and handed a delightful warm bundle of yellow feathers, first a tiny chick and then a duckling, each one a few days old.

Once we prised ourselves away from the hangar we moved on to an open air enclosure where new born lambs huddled close to their mothers. Nearby in a small brick building we were again invited to sit on straw bales, this time to hold a new born lamb and feel the warmth of it’s body through the wool. What a joy. Adults as well as the children were excited and moved by the experience.

Bit by bit we all arrived at the farm picnic tables, where our friends displayed their generosity and forward-planning by laying out a feast of savoury and sweet delights for us to share and enjoy in the sunshine. We also shared our thoughts and feelings about what we had seen and enjoyed being together, no one in a hurry to move on.

There was more to come. A bumpy ride on a trailer pulled by a tractor took us out of the farm, up through Slindon on to the downland from where we could see the South Downs and Bignor Hill in one direction, Chichester Cathedral in another and the sea in yet another. We saw sheep lying on the grass with their off-spring standing on their backs. Not just a delightful pastoral scene. The tractor driver explained that lambs do this to rouse their mothers so that they can get beneath to feed.

It was lovely occasion, one to be remembered for the new experiences and for the feeling of companionship.

Annie Conway

In Search of Sanctuary


Musicians and singers will use poetry readings, music and song to explore the refugee experience at a coming event.

At In Search of Sanctuary at St Paul’s Parish Centre, accomplished singers, pianists, a violinist, a guitarist, a cellist, a clarinettist and a fiddle player will perform an eclectic range of pieces from classical and pop music to folk and musical theatre, interspersed with poetry.

Admission is free. No ticket or pre-booking required, with all donations going to Sanctuary in Chichester and Portsmouth’s Friends Without Borders which, like Sanctuary, provides support for asylum seekers and refugees.

The June event is being organised by soprano Rebecca Grove, with support from her father Chris Grove and friend mezzo-soprano Stephanie Peat. The concert is the latest in a series of musical fundraisers Rebecca has worked on.

Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served. Free parking is available outside St Paul’s Church, Churchside, Chichester, PO19 FT6.

For more information, call 01243 781370.