building cultures of welcome, hospitality and safety​ Through Social Justice

Be Human, Be Hospitable, Challenge Hatred and Hostility

INDERJIT SINGH BHOGAL

Theologian and Methodist Minister

Rev Dr Inderjit Singh Bhogal OBE is a leading Theologian and Methodist Minister. Retiring in 2018, Inderjit is currently working with Churches Together in Britain and Ireland to develop and promote the idea of Church of Sanctuary and has been the minister of Wincobank Chapel since 1994.

Inderjit is founder and President of City of Sanctuary, a former President of the Methodist Conference, former Leader/CEO of the Corrymeela Community and former CEO of Yorkshire and Humber Faiths Forum.  Inderjit is also President of the Methodist Peace Fellowship. You can view more of his achievements here.

Inderjit Bhogal outside a building in Sheffield
Pronunciation of Inderjit Bhogal

(InDer-Jit SING Bo-GUl)

— pronunciation only, nOT THE ACTUAL SPELLING —

This is a Sikh, Punjabi name. The letter “H” after the B in Punjabi language is a breath sound. It can simply be a silent letter.

The mission​

building cultures of welcome, hospitality and safety​

Through social justice campaigns. The message is simple…

Inderjit Bhogal presents a Church of Sanctuary award

“Be human, be hospitable, challenge hatred and hostility”

Inderjit Bhogal​

Founder and President:
City of Sancturary​

Welcome

A Wooden Welcome Sign at a Restaurant

The UK can be a place of Sanctuary to those who need it. Of Welcome to anyone who is unsheltered and Safe for anyone who is vulnerable.

Around this site you’ll find information about Rev. Dr. Inderjit Singh Bhogal OBE who is devoting his life to building cultures of Welcome, Hospitality and Safety for all.

Burning flame of candles placed on shabby surface of ancient sacred place with stone walls

Frequently Asked Questions

Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE is a prominent theologian and Methodist Minister. He is the founder and President of City of Sanctuary, and has served as the minister of Wincobank Chapel since 1994. He has dedicated his life to building cultures of welcome, hospitality, and safety for all.

Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE’s mission is to enhance interfaith relations, challenge injustice, and advocate for social justice. He actively supports campaigns to challenge unjust deportation orders and has been involved in various initiatives to offer sanctuary to those facing injustice.

The City of Sanctuary is an initiative launched by Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE. It aims to create welcoming and safe spaces for those seeking refuge and sanctuary. Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary in the UK in 2007, and the movement has since influenced government policies and inspired other cities to follow suit.

The Church of Sanctuary is a concept developed and promoted by Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE in collaboration with Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Its primary objective is to foster cultures of welcome, hospitality, and safety, with the ultimate goal of making the UK a place of sanctuary for those in need.

sanctuary

Refuge from persecution or other danger

welcome

An instance or manner of greeting

hospitality​

Friendly and generous reception

safety​

Protected from danger, risk and injury

A short Prayer

To All World Leaders

“We pray that leaders of all countries have pathways of justice, mercy and humility illuminated within them.”

Sanctuary

In 1947, as young teenagers, my own parents left their home in Panjab, India, soon after independence and the partition. The Partition was a situation that led to one of the biggest movements of people across borders in human history. I was born in Nairobi where I lived till the age of 11 in 1964. Then, Kenya achieved independence, and with my parents and family, I left for Britain. In my own experiences of immigration, my theological reflection, and theology are rooted. In October 2005 I called a meeting, with Craig Barnett, a Quaker colleague, to launch the City of Sanctuary initiative. In 2007, Sheffield was declared the UKs first City of Sanctuary

city of sanctuary – The movement is growing

2000+

Volunteers

100+

cities

4

Nations


Discover the remarkable journey of Rev Dr Inderjit Singh Bhogal OBE.

Early Life

Rev. Dr. Inderjit Singh Bhogal OBE was born in Nairobi, Kenya where he lived till the age of 11 and migrated to Britain in 1964 with his parents and family. By the time his parents were thirty, they had left their home twice as a result of political decisions of nations. Inderjit’s first home in this country was in Dudley, West Midlands.

City of Sanctuary

In 2005, Inderjit initiated the City of Sanctuary project, which led Sheffield to become the first City of Sanctuary in the UK.

Advocating for Justice

Rev. Dr. Inderjit Singh Bhogal OBE actively supports campaigns challenging unjust deportation orders and advocates for justice and mercy in immigration policy and procedure.

Early Life and Immigration

From Inderjit’s earliest days of life in the UK, people of Asian backgrounds talked with him, due to his fluency in English, about their immigration concerns and paper work.
Inderjit Bhogal with Church of South India

Campaigns against Injustice

Inderjit supported many campaigns to challenge unjust deportation orders. In the 1980’s, he chaired the Sanctuary Working Group of the British Council of Churche and produced guidelines to assist churches giving sanctuary to people facing injustice.
Inderjit Bhogal Receives World Methodist Peace Award
Inderjit Bhogal Receives World Methodist Peace Award (2022)
Further history

So personally, rather than professionally, Inderjit became familiar with immigration matters, policies and procedures. He is familiar with the fears, frustrations, and pains of people of all backgrounds have around the decisions to leave home. Inderjit is determined to take simple steps to seek justice, mercy and humility in immigration policy and procedure.

Inderjit became President of the Methodist Conference in Britain (2000-2001) and visited all the Detention Centres in Britain and Northern Ireland, following which he wrote a reflection entitled “Unlocking the Doors” (2001). A copy was sent to the Home Secretary.

In October 2005, Inderjit called a meeting, with Craig Barnett, a Quaker colleague, to launch the City of Sanctuary initiative. In 2007 Sheffield was declared the UKs first City of Sanctuary. When others asked how they could follow this idea, to assist, they produced a short book entitled “Building a City of Sanctuary” (2010) with inspiring practical ideas.

Building the City of Sanctuary movement is a prophetic act. It is one way of changing the direction of the wind and influencing government policy.

To learn more about Inderjit, you can listen to The Wilberforce Way with Inderjit Bhogal

Challenging GOVERNMENT

We must challenge our governments to divert money and investment from war, to the ending of poverty, tackling of climate change and reduction of pollution. In our personal lives we need to find ways to live with greater grace and generosity with those who are different from us. 

Founder​

Inderjit is a co-founder and President of the rapidly growing City of Sanctuary movement. City of Sanctuary is focused on building cultures of Welcome, Hospitality and Safety for all. Inderjit’s mantra is “Be Human, Be Hospitable, Challenge Hostility”

Peace-Maker​

Inderjit’s work in interfaith relations was recognised with an OBE in the 2005 New Year’s Honours list.  Inderjit is recipient of the World Methodist Peace Award [2018]. Inderjit has dedicated his life to peace making, establishing trust between communities and building cultures of Welcome, Hospitality and Safety.

Activist​

His other interfaith activities include creating the Wilberforce Way, a walk between Hull and York to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Act [1807], and prayers and protests, involving people of different faiths and those who profess no particular religious faith.  This was featured in Claire Balding’s BBC Radio 4 program Ramblings.

World Peace

Humanity

Education​

Hospitality

Welcome​

Safety

A message from inderjit

Build A Culture of welcome, hospitality and safety​

Inderjit is frequently invited to give talks and lectures in the UK and around the world. Having been asked by many journalists, organisations and academic institutions and scholars for transcripts of his talks and publications, Inderjit has decided to make everything available via this dedicated website.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact Inderjit

stay with us

Learn More

The movement is just starting. Join it

Nonprofits Inderjit has helped to found

These organizations are present today because they need to be. Inderjit is committed to working with people of all backgrounds to build cultures of Welcome, Hospitality and Safety.

Sunset Fisherman