Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

Church of England parishes set to support winter shelters

Church of England parishes set to support winter shelters

More than 2,000 Church of England congregations will be running or supporting night shelters this winter as homelessness projects expand to cope with rising demand.

Night shelters supported by churches are reporting increases in capacity with some adding extra beds and others opening for longer during the week.

This follows a series of reports this year indicating a rise in homelessness and rough sleeping.

Diane Watts, Diocesan Development Worker for Together in Sussex said. ‘hundreds of Volunteers from churches in Sussex have stepped up to serve our communities in this way, offering Christian hospitality to all people. As Christians, we are reminded of Philippians 2 versus 5-11 ‘he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.’

“This winter, churches are running night shelters in towns such as Hastings, Brighton and Hove and Eastbourne and Horsham, but also many of our churches are helping in other ways, preparing food, serving lunches and breakfasts and being alongside people just chatting.”

Bishop Martin will be supporting Turning Tides (formerly Worthing Churches Homeless Projects) and joining its annual sleepout on February 23 in Littlehampton. Details of how to sponsor Bishop Martin will be published on the website in the New year.