In response to Dave’s Saturday letter, Sheffield is not THE City of Sanctuary. It is one of a network of 61 cities and towns nationwide that ASPIRE to be ones of Sanctuary, not to mention another 20 who are setting up.
As a founding member of the Sheffield group I feel confident that all fellow members in those places would be the first to acknowledge that this is work in progress.
In each place there may be plenty of people who would not extend the hand of friendship to those who flee persecution, war &/or famine. But as the response to the murder of Jo Cox on Thursday illustrates, there may well be a silent majority who would extend such a hand.
It is National Refugee week and here in Sheffield we have a 23-page Migration Matters festival booklet listing 27 events and four exhibitions in Sheffield alone that promote offering sanctuary to refugees and asylum seekers.
Some may have been set up by students – but what is wrong with that?
Even more have been organised by mature Sheffield-rooted groups and long standing residents.
We may not yet BE a City of Sanctuary.
But for many – that is what we aspire for.