If the long-range weather forecasters are correct, we could be in for a very cold winter this year – which is OK if you’re able to snuggle up to a lovely open fire in a centrally heated house, but not so good if you are homeless and on the streets on a freezing night. With that in mind, local churches will be once again opening their doors to the homeless during the winter months – and this year St John’s has the chance to take part.
At time of writing we’re envisaging opening up our church hall for about six Wednesday evenings/nights, probably starting from mid- February. We aim to lay on hot food and drinks, a bed for the night and, most importantly, friendship for about 15 or so guests.
Those of us from St John’s who volunteered for other churches last year found it to be a very positive and fulfilling experience. Practically speaking, this year we’ll be looking for volunteers to cook and serve food, clear up afterwards, and stay overnight on one night a week. Training will be given. We also need to raise money for food/bedding etc. More details on this soon.
Under the auspices of the Shelter Project Hounslow (SPH) St John’s will be sharing its Wednesdays with another church – Hounslow Evangelical Church – who’ll be operating the scheme from January. They’ll also be seeking volunteers – it might be good experience for anyone considering volunteering for St John’s.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, and would like more info about the SPH scheme, go to http://devonpasty.wix.com/shelter or contact Julian.