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At City of Sanctuary we have been running our email from a dedicated server for the last few years. This has proven very admin intensive for us, and the result for volunteers like you is not very user-friendly.

So we are moving to a Gmail-powered email system.  We will migrate email accounts in batches through May and June.  Please be reassured that your email addresses will not change, only the way you access your email will be affected by this.

If you have an email address ending, we will contact you in the coming weeks to give you a date for your migration.  Here are the steps that will happen:

  1. We will send you an email, to your address ending, giving you a migration date for your email.  The email will be sent at least 1 week before the migration date.
    We will include a new secure password that we will use for both your existing “Roundcube” email account, and your new City of Sanctuary Gmail account.  We will also tell you how to access your new Gmail account after the migration.
  2. On the migration date, we will create your new email account on our Google-based system.
  3. Next, we will change the password on your existing Roundcube email account, so we can access it to perform the migration.
  4. Finally we’ll migrate any email you have in Roundcube to our new system.

If for any reason you don’t pick up our email communications before the migration, we’ll be happy to help you access your new account any time afterwards.

Please note that we are not planning to migrate any contacts that you’ve stored in Roundcube, only the email.  The Roundcube system will be accessible until the end of July for you to get any information you need from it.

Also, if you are using a private Gmail account to receive and send City of Sanctuary email, we cannot migrate email and contacts from this to the new Gmail account in most cases.  This is because Google makes it straightforward to do yourself, and we don’t have the resources to help everybody with this.  You will of course still be able to access your private Gmail account after this migration — that is yours, and outside of our control.

If you have any concerns with any of this, please do email [email protected].

In the past, many people set up “personal” accounts with Gmail or Outlook, connecting these to your City of Sanctuary mailbox so you could send and receive as [email protected]  We in fact recommended this, because the webmail we provided with our older mailboxes was very basic, and most people prefer using Gmail or Outlook.

Now, City of Sanctuary is directly providing a full Gmail service.  It remains possible to link your City of Sanctuary mailbox with a personal account, but we no longer recommend this.  Here’s why.

City of Sanctuary UK has overarching administrative control of all the mailboxes we provide.  This provides two important levels of security for you:

  1. We’re always able to recover your accounts for you, in the case of staff or volunteers moving on and new people needing to take over.
  2. All data in your accounts is kept within a system that is not shared outside of the City of Sanctuary movement.  This helps us all comply with GDPR requirements.

So, if you use a personal Gmail or Outlook account to send and receive City of Sanctuary email, we would recommend that you swap over to exclusively using your new City of Sanctuary Gmail account.

You will find lots of guides on the internet to help you migrate email from your personal account into your City of Sanctuary Gmail account.  Just search for “migrate email between Gmail accounts”, or “migrate email from Outlook to Gmail”.  Here are a couple of good guides we’ve found:

“It’s too hard for me to migrate email right now. What should I do?”

We understand that you might not have the capacity right now to migrate your group’s email.  To keep things running as they are, you can set up automatic email forwarding from your new City of Sanctuary Gmail account to your personal Gmail or Outlook account.  Here are Google’s official instructions for that:

In your personal Gmail or Outlook account, you will likely want to continue sending email as [email protected], so these guides will help you with that.

If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, please reach out to us. We’re here to help 😊
[email protected]