Our Christian Ethos

Gravesham Sanctuary is a Christian charity that subscribes to the vision of Housing Justice for a society where everyone has access to a home that truly meets their needs. To that end:

We acknowledge:

  • The physical, mental and emotional vulnerability of many of those we serve through our work.
  • The need for all services for vulnerable people to be transparent and open in how they operate and to avoid any ‘hidden agendas’ or ‘strings attached’ to the practical care we offer.
  • The way that some work for homeless people is done by some Christian organisations has, at times, been conditional, and that faith has been imposed upon those seeking help.
  • That secular culture can put pressure on Christian organisations to downplay the role of faith.

We affirm:

  • That the Christian faith is at the heart of the ethos and motivations of our organisation and remains the central reason why we offer the services we do.
  • That being openly and positively Christian is not the same as being coercive or conditional.
  • The validity and relevance of offering opportunities for those we serve to explore the Christian faith and the belief that this can be done in a transparent and non-coercive way.

We commit to:

  • Providing an inclusive service to people affected by homelessness and associated issues and not making any practical help we provide conditional on involvement in any spiritual activities.
  • Serving and respecting all people regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation or physical and mental ability.
  • Acknowledging the freedom of people of all faiths or none both to hold and to express their beliefs and convictions respectfully and freely, within the limits of the UK law.
  • Modelling and sharing the Christian faith through what we do, say, and conduct ourselves.
  • Developing partnerships with other churches, voluntary groups, statutory agencies and local government wherever appropriate in order to create an effective, integrated service for our clients.

We will develop a professional approach to management, practice and funding by:

  1. Implementing a management and support structure for all staff and volunteers fosters and encourages participation at all levels to fulfil our service’s goals and visions.
  2. Implement best practice procedures regarding health and safety and safeguarding to protect our staff, volunteers, and clients.
  3. Handling our funding transparently and accountable and giving relevant people from outside our organisation/project reasonable access to our accounts.
  4. Ensuring that all materials used to promote our organisation’s work portray those who use our services in a sensitive way and that the permission of those featured will always be sought before being used for these purposes. Motivated by the Christian faith, we commit ourselves to the standards set out in this Charter. This charter was written by Jon Kuhrt of the West London Mission. It was produced as an initiative of the Christian Homeless Forum in consultation with Housing Justice in October 2011 & reviewed in February 2020.

We will value all individuals in a way that is consistent with our distinctive Christian ethos by:

  1. Creating an environment where those we serve and our volunteers and employees are encouraged, challenged and enabled to realise their potential.
  2. Assisting those we serve, our volunteers and our employees, in taking responsibility for their learning, development, and personal growth.
  3. Developing a culture where comments and complaints are correctly listened to so that improvements can be made and excellence and innovation are encouraged.
  4. Promoting the value of a balanced, holistic lifestyle as part of each person’s overall personal development.
  5. Abiding by employment law requirements in the UK and implementing best employment practices and procedures designed to maintain our distinctive ethos and values.

Sanctuary is a ‘first point of contact’ to those who are homeless irrespective of situation or background, with a focus on providing assistance not catered by other agencies..

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