Hundreds of churches across Britain focus on homelessness

By staff writers
January 21, 2015

Hundreds of churches across England, Scotland and Wales took part in Homeless Sunday on 18th January 2015 – which this year coincided with Peace Sunday and World Migrants and Refugees Day in the Catholic Church.

Homeless Sunday is is an annual one-day campaign dedicated to raising awareness of homelessness and its causes, promoted by the ecumenical charity Housing Justice and others. This year it has been marked by church services, special collections and sponsored sleep-outs.

Churches of all denominations and from all corners of the three nations have participated, along with homelessness charities like YMCA.

Among those showing solidarity with homeless rough sleepers was the Anglican Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev James Langstaff, chair of Housing Justice, who will joined a sleep-out at Bromley Parish Church on 17th January.

Bishop Langstaff commented: “Homeless Sunday is a valuable annual opportunity for the churches to think, pray and respond to the needs of homeless people. As Chair of Housing Justice, I am very pleased to commend this very important opportunity and trust that the support materials offered will prove useful to everyone concerned with housing justice for all.”

Alison Gelder, Director of Housing Justice said: “Churches are joining together to show concern for homeless people, challenge the causes of homelessness and celebrate their work in tackling the problems against the backdrop of the alarming rise in the numbers of homeless people, especially those sleeping on the streets – last year’s annual street count by the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that, for London alone, numbers had gone up from 415 to 543, an increase of 31per cent.”

Housing Justice is a national voice of Christian action to prevent homelessness and bad housing.

The NGO works to support church-based housing and homelessness projects across England and Wales. It trains volunteers and coordinates forums for soup runs, church winter shelters, and mentoring and befriending projects.

* Housing Justice: www.housingjustice.org.uk

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