BREAKING NEWS: the Sanctuary finds a home!

We are delighted to announce that the Sanctuary has found a home right at the heart of the UK – and will be opening its premises in 2012.

the Sanctuary at the heart of the UK

We’re very excited about the space and its location; overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have offered it to us, and eager to see how the next steps of the Sanctuary’s journey will bless individuals and churches across the UK, and people in our new adopted home-town of Ilkley.

Ilkley is the perfect location for the Sanctuary. It’s central to the UK and Ireland as a whole; just 30 mins from both the A1 and M1; 20 mins on direct train from both Leeds and Bradford, or by car from the airport; and provides the perfect balance between uplifting countryside and bustling activity. Plus, ok we’re biased – but we LOVE it here!

Still more importantly than all this accessibility, inspiration and activity, there is a growing passion for prayer, and a real heart to pursue unity, among the Christians here.

The premises we have been offered is an ideal home for the Sanctuary. It’s right at the centre of the town, with two shop fronts which enable it to be visible and open to people from outside the churches as well as to those within them. The main space is ideally sized for the sacred space, and there are facilities to provide catering for workshop attendees, pray-ers, and people popping in.

It’s accessible, approachable, and crucially, right at the heart of town – vital  for a centre whose vision is to promote outward focus alongside the pursuit of God’s presence.

It’s the perfect time for us to make this next step. Although the last few months have had a momentum we could not have predicted when we pressed “publish” on the website just nine short months ago, we feel that it’s right to keep moving forwards.

We are thrilled that we will soon be able to open the Sanctuary’s new home so others can join us in our core business of intercessional rhythms of prayer, resource creation, and exploring the journey to the place where world and worship meet.

We’re also delighted that this space provides us with the opportunity to reach out to, and work alongside, others living, or visiting Ilkley.

Read more about the Sanctuary’s vision.

When will the Sanctuary’s premises open?

As yet, we can’t give you a firm time-scale for opening, because there is a lot to do from designing and kitting out the space through to practical details of leases and policies.

We also need to raise a reasonably small, one-off fund, to enable us to decorate and kit out the building to match the vision of map-floors, churches painted on the walls, and a lit cross. If you would like to help in any way with this, please do get in touch.

We are hopeful that we will be ready to open our doors by late Spring 2012 – and this is the place to watch for news and more definite time-scales as they become available.

What’s the story?

When we moved to Ilkley – a bustling town set at the foot of one of the country’s most beautiful moors – eighteen months ago, we never could have imagined that we would be in a position to tell you this news so quickly.

At that point we were still some months off launching our website (which went live on 14 Feb this year) and although we felt strongly led to move to this area as the next step for setting up the Sanctuary, we were still praying, listening, and waiting for the exact location to be confirmed, let alone the building to be provided!

By April this year, several members of our team of pray-ers confirmed they felt a strong sense that Ilkley (where we were living), rather than Leeds (where we go to church) or elsewhere in the area, was the right location for the Sanctuary, and one pray-er was already starting to pray for a building to be released here for us very quickly.

We felt almost as sure ourselves, already feeling a strong connection to Ilkley, although we had only begun building links with churches here the previous month. However, we also felt that we needed God to confirm it, before we could put a stake in the ground and say “it’s going to be here”.

On the 19 May, we read an email asking us to help co-ordinate a three-month season of 24:7 prayer here – and later that day we met with the vicar of All Saint’s Church who generously and graciously offered us use of the building we were sitting in!

We were overwhelmed by this offer, and were pretty sure that these two things together were the confirmation from God we were looking for. We took a month to pray it through with our team of pray-ers, and then, sensing it was definitely right to move forward, have been attending lots of meetings, and waiting for various committees to meet, until now – the point where we can go public with this exciting news.

We want to express our heart-felt thanks to the Rev Lee Townend, and the PCC of All Saints’ Church in Ilkley, for their generosity in offering us the premises.

And also to very many other Christians from across local churches, who have made us feel so welcome – as individuals as well as the Sanctuary’s founders.

Massive thanks also to everyone who has been praying for us over the last few months – particularly with regard to finding a premises to enable many more people to join in with the Sanctuary’s core activities.

Thank you all also for your continued encouragement and use of the website. Please do keep praying as there is lots of work coming!

And most of all, praise and glory to God – who once more has proved he can do more than we could even ask or imagine.

Liz Baddaley and Jill Andrews
Vision-keepers for the Sanctuary

2 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: the Sanctuary finds a home!”

  1. Anna Nicholson says:

    Dear Vision Keepers (Jill and Liz!),
    This is such excellent news! I am so excited to hear more of what the Santuary is up to. And all this within such a short time. God is just super faithful.

  2. Rebecca Hamer says:

    Yes Yes!! So exciting. Praying for you guys, and rejoicing with you in all that is still to come.