Homeless men standing asleep
When wandering round Tate Britain in my lunch break, I was struck by a photograph by Don McCullin captioned “Homeless men standing asleep” from Whitechapel in 1970. I was taken by it, not only because of the fact that someone could sleep and stand at the same time but because it looked so different from the picture of homelessness on the streets of London today.
Homelessness continues to exist but the people who become homeless and the causes that lead them there have changed and will continue to change as incessantly as London does.
But there is hope given through the local church which has consistently over many years offered practical support and care to people who, for whatever reason, find themselves with nowhere else to turn. Through the winter night shelters 280 churches in London mobilised 5200 volunteers across every denomination. This has meant that there have been Church Night Shelter schemes in 23 boroughs, offering shelter and hospitality for more than 1,300 people.
As a Diocese we are working with Housing Justice and West London Methodist Mission to celebrate and try to support all that the church is doing. We’ve made a short 3 minute film to give you a better idea of what these shelters do, ‘Beyond Sunday Services‘.
‘Homelessness, Hospitality and Hope’, the next event for churches will be held at Hinde Street Methodist Church on Saturday 28 September. We will be celebrating the distinctive Christian nature of this ministry, so if your church runs, or has been considering becoming a local night shelter then this is the event for you.
Beyond Sunday Services from London Diocese on Vimeo.
A short film to celebrate the work of Church run winter night shelters in London.
Many of us care about the homeless but this winter churches have done a lot more than simply offer prayers. 280 churches mobilised 5200 volunteers across every denomination. This has meant that there have been Church Night Shelter schemes in 23 boroughs, offering shelter and hospitality for more than 1,300 people. Instead of sleeping on our streets, these people have found warmth and welcome in our churches in this bitterly cold winter we’ve experienced.
This was written by Helen Taylor.