Cities of sanctuary – welcoming migrants

This hymn was written some years ago, responding to a call to provide sanctuary for people on the margins by Rev’d Inderjit Bhogal, (Past President of the Methodist Conference) - https://inderjitbhogal.com/category/sanctuary/ - Sadly both the call and the hymn are still pertinent. We wait to welcome guests to our countries.
‘Cities of sanctuary’, could read, ‘Towns offer sanctuary’, ‘Places of sanctuary’ or Churches of sanctuary’, depending on your situation.

Cities of sanctuary, places of safety,
here where all strangers are welcomed and blessed,
we stand with Jesus in love of our neighbour,
here in our actions his love is expressed.

We will act justly while offering mercy,
nurturing humbly a gospel of peace,
welcome all people regardless of status,
counter celebrity, value the least.

Here in a world that is cruel and unyielding
God's hospitality values the poor;
this is the scandal of love without limits,
loving the unloved, then loving them more.

We will not rest till each migrant is welcomed.
We will share bread till the hungry are fed.
We will confront each injustice that greets us,
loving with vigour till hatred is dead.

Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2008 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
11 10 11 10
Tune: STEWARDSHIP

Hymn for Jesus Manifesto – Luke 4: 14 – 21

In Nazareth it happened,
folk heard with bated breath,
the good news Jesus offered 
of life instead of death.

This was the manifesto:
a charter for the poor,      
a welcome for the stranger 
who’d waited at the door.

Within a cell the captive 
would hear the freedom call,
and those who felt injustice
know healing was for all.

Oppression would be banished.
Yet hypocrites recoiled,
drove Jesus from their presence, 
but he would not be foiled.

And in this time and context 
will we still have to wait,
or dare we risk and follow, 
before it is too late?
Andrew Pratt 17/1/2022
Words © 2022 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: 7.6.7.6
Tune: THE CHERRY TREE CAROL (repeat last two lines of each verse)
Based on Luke 4: 14 – 30 (the Lectionary for this coming Sunday is Luke 4: 14 – 21)
An alternative version below follows a slightly different rhythm.

Alternative words:

In Nazareth it happened,
the folk held their breath;
the good news Jesus offered 
was life instead of death.

And this was the promise:
a gift for the poor,      
a welcome for the stranger 
who’d waited at the door.

Within a cell the captive 
would hear freedom call,
and those who felt injustice
know healing was for all.

Oppression would be banished,
hypocrites recoiled,
drove Jesus from their presence, 
but he would not be foiled.

And in this time and context 
we still have to wait;
or dare we risk and follow, 
before it is too late?
Andrew Pratt 17/1/2022
Words © 2022 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd,

Inderjit Bhogal – The Wilberforce Way – interview with Clare Balding – BBC

This is pertinent to the situation that we live in. Today people in this country who are different live in fear. The best we can offer to those who are different from ourselves, in whatever way, is to enable them to feel accepted and welcome and not afraid.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000fpbq

What sharp protestations might echo the prophets – hymn at the time of parliamentary disagreement

What sharp protestations might echo the prophets,
could mirror the actions of Christ and the cross?
We witness indifference, inaction and malice,
that break up communities, add to our loss.

But how can we counter political action
that builds upon selfishness slander and lies,
that blinds us to suffering, homelessness, hunger,
ignoring these needs as our barren earth dies?

While violence surrounds us, our dark contemplation
breeds hopelessness, helplessness, absence of light;
yet here in the darkness a spark might still smoulder,
that love might still fan to dispel hatred’s night.

Join hands now, God’s people, let love be our watchword,
let Christ be our model of life giving grace,
that those of each nation, the war torn, the migrant,
may find they are welcome right now in this place.

Andrew Pratt 31/8/2019
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Tune: WAS LEBET, WAS SCHWEBET (or possibly THE ASH GROVE)

Written at a time when parliament was due to be prorogued.