Hundreds of UK churches sign up to support Ukrainian refugees

(Photo: Channel 4 News)

Over 500 churches have pledged to support Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK under the government's new humanitarian sponsorship route. 

The government scheme will allow Britons to invite Ukrainian refugees into their homes.

The Sanctuary Foundation is asking individuals, community groups, churches, schools and businesses to register their interest in becoming a sponsor of Ukrainians arriving in the UK. 

The Sanctuary Foundation is a partnership between charities, churches and other agencies that has been set up in response to the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Ukraine.

It is led by Dr Krish Kandiah, who has been heavily involved in Welcome Churches and Afghan Welcome, two initiatives supporting people coming to the UK from Hong Kong and Afghanistan.

The foundation's vision is for the UK to become "a sanctuary for those fleeing injustice and war". 

Individuals and organisations can get involved by welcoming a Ukrainian family to live in the local community, finding and furnishing accommodation, fundraising to financially support refugee families, and volunteering to befriend new arrivals and help them with integration.

Over 2,000 companies, churches and individuals have pledged their help so far. 

St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, is one of over 500 churches to have signed up as a sponsor.

"The Bible is clear that welcoming the stranger is part of our calling as Christians," said Rector Vaughan Roberts.

"Therefore@StEbbesChurch is delighted to pledge to be a community sponsor to support a Ukrainian family to come to the UK We urge you to pledge to sponsor a family too."