The one thing almost all of us take for granted is that we can always go home to a place that we can truly call ours, where we can be safe, warm, welcome and fed. We may also sometimes be happy to be able to shut the door of our home or our room behind us and feel that we will not be bothered by anybody.
It is difficult to imagine what it may be like to be homeless, and yet we encounter homelessness almost every day of our lives, sometimes it is obvious before our eyes as we step over people literally sleeping in the street or in doorways, more often it is hidden and we may not even know that people we are encountering in our daily lives have nowhere other perhaps then a sofa of a friend’s house to sleep that night.
For Christians it is a Biblical imperative to look out for and to care for those who are vulnerable in our society. And there is a long and honourable tradition of churches and individuals pioneering innovative approaches to alleviate homelessness, which can be a multifaceted problem for individuals.
The Robes Project, for example, offers a bed for the night and counselling and companionship in several of our local churches, and volunteers from St Stephen’s are involved with ‘Robes’.
In Advent we look towards Christmas, a festival that has for so long been associated with being a holiday for which everyone ‘goes home’, ironically to celebrate the birth of a baby to a family that had temporarily become homeless. The churches together in this area have put together a Homelessness Appeal, highlighting and supporting the work of ten local Christian initiatives tackling homelessness. Please pick up a leaflet and consider supporting this appeal.
16 December 2018