Happy New Year to all the readers of Church Notes.
New Year’s Day – January 1 – saw the start of a new venture for the Churches in Wokingham.
Seven Churches opened their doors as a Night Shelter for January and February to offer a bed for the night to anyone experiencing homelessness.
An evening meal and breakfast is also included as well as signposting to the relevant agencies who provide help and advice to those who are homeless. This was a year in the planning and is now up and running.
I am excited to see how we have come together with volunteers, donations, funding and so much more.
Each guest is welcomed into a warm and caring environment and can relax and sleep without fear.
A friend of mine who was homeless for years and who recently passed away said about sleeping rough, ‘It’s the not knowing whether you will wake up in the morning or if you will be urinated on or beaten up during the night that is so difficult’.
That fear is unimaginable to me, but I have seen it in the faces of so many over the years and if we as Churches can relieve that fear for a short while then that is brilliant.
Homelessness is not something that we can ever be happy about and we must continue to find ways to prevent it in the first place.
There will always be people who withdraw from society for a period of time, to walk away from everything and everyone, and to choose homelessness as their option.
But for many, through circumstances beyond their control, find themselves to be vulnerable and homeless.
My prayer is that they will find hope in the Night Shelter and a plan for their future.
Jesus has much to say about why we should help and love each other and this is a direct command from Him.
John 13:34-35 (The Message): “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
Captain Jan Howlin from Wokingham Salvation Army, writing on
behalf of Churches Together in Wokingham