It's morning service in a quiet village church. Josie Welford, wealthy widow of one of the country s most wanted criminals and now licensee of the White Hart gastro-pub, is daydreaming during Father Tim Martin s sermon. Suddenly the peace is shattered when a filthy Chinese youth flings himself into the church and demands sanctuary.Should the Church accede to the request for protection that no longer has legal standing? Or should it hand Tang over to the authorities? Josie supports Tim s decision to protect Tang, but not all the congregation agree, taking their grievances to the Church hierarchy. But Josie's friend and long-term lodger, the Food Standards Agency inspector Nick Thomas, fears for the boy's life. Tang is almost certainly an illegal immigrant whose gang-masters would rather have dead than able to betray them. It's not long before the media are involved, the subsequent publicity bringing fatal results, not just to the priest and the refugee, but to St Jude's itself.