Nicola Morrison shares the story of Marion, a dedicated wife and mother, who is passionate about ‘homesharing’ and providing a warm welcome to families fleeing to the UK from overseas.

When Marion and her husband were blessed with a gift in her dad’s will, she knew she wanted to do something amazing with it. And when the war in Ukraine broke out, it seemed like a no brainer” to use it to provide hospitality to those coming to the UK as refugees.

Brought up in a Christian family in High Wycombe, Marion was one of three daughters. As she got older, she grew a deeper understanding of what her faith meant to her personally. When her dad passed away, she and her sisters inherited money. Amazingly they have all embraced hospitality in different ways through his generosity, something she says was quite different to their upbringing, with busy parents and the demands of running a household we didn’t often have people over”, Marion recalls.

I asked Marion what her dad would make of what she is doing now with his gift, and she gushed and replied, I think he would be delighted!”


Marion, her husband and sister bought two homes after her dad’s death in 1996. We had been renting to people we knew on low incomes, and family or friends of our neighbours, but had been having some work done on them and they were vacant when Ukraine was invaded, and my husband and I felt this was an opportunity”, says Marion.

Her husband picked up the baton and started the necessary preparations and application process and a few months later their vision arrived on their doorstep – quite literally!

The first family that we housed were actually originally from Afghanistan and had fled to Ukraine as refugees years before, only to be displaced again when the war in Ukraine broke out!”

In their second home in the neighbourhood, they housed a family from Ukraine, who had applied through a government scheme. After a telephone chat, facilitated by a Ukrainian lady staying with another local church family, we knew we wanted to welcome them into our home.”

"It has been a great experience for all of us, including our 14-year-old daughter… it brings the world situations so much closer to home…"

Marion has been able to share her faith with the families she has housed. The Ukrainian family came to church the first week they were here. They have got involved in social activities with the church since. The dad has really embraced the opportunity to meet British Christian men. Language has proved more challenging for his wife and has made her a little less forthcoming. The Afghan family is Muslim and have family in the UK.” 

Being so close to these families Marion says is a humbling experience, it has been a great experience for all of us, including our 14-year-old daughter… it brings the world situations so much closer to home… we are engaging with people and have an insight into their lives. It really puts things in perspective.” 

When I asked Marion how she approaches engaging with families that have experiences so different to her own she said: We have to humbly accept that we can’t understand their experiences but that doesn’t mean we can’t stand with them…we let them open up as much as they are comfortable with, without being intrusive.” 

Marion believes that whilst enriching the lives of these families, her family is benefitting too: the families we have come across are amazingly positive and optimistic… it’s nice having them close by and we love interacting with them.” 

Marion says that close bonds are formed as the families have been able to offer advice and engage together on the WhatsApp group. She says that most of her family and friends have been supportive, and the new families have been widely embraced by the local community. One of the neighbours popped round with a cake to welcome them to the neighbourhood,” says Marion. 

When asked what she would say to others considering homesharing’ she said: I would encourage people to look into it, if they are in a position to help. We have been blessed to be part of their story.” 

If you are interested in hosting a family or would just like to find out more, visit: wel​comechurch​es​.org