The Octagon Chapel, situated in the heart of Colegate, is leading the Faith Stream for Norwich City of Sanctuary.
The Unitarian chapel gained the award to become a Place of Sanctuary in 2018 because of the work it was already doing to help refugees and asylum seekers in Norwich. Members of the congregation had pioneered the ‘Welcome Rucksack’ project, which gifts a backpack of essential items to new arrivals to the city. The chapel was also part of the St Martin’s Shoebox Scheme which collects and distributes toiletries and kitchen equipment to those who need them.
At the inaugural meeting of the Faith Stream, members from different faiths met to discuss how they could further help those seeking sanctuary in Norwich.
Chairman of the Octagon Chapel, Gavin Howell, is looking to increase participation in this group in the year ahead. He says broadening understanding of the complex issues surrounding migrants who arrive in Norwich is one of his core aims.