Regular readers of R&R will know that I often post articles which relate to my work at West London Mission. We are part of the Methodist Church and run a wide range of social and community projects for people affected by homelessness, poverty and trauma. Activism and controversy One of the 'big characters' from WLM's… Continue reading Steve Chalke speaking at WLM’s Annual Meeting
Every Tuesday at WLM's centre for homeless people at Seymour Place in central London, we have a Spirituality Discussion Group for our homeless clients. Even though membership of the group changes frequently, the group decides themselves the topics it wants to discuss. Its one the highlights of my job when I am invited to lead… Continue reading What are the best ways of helping people?
A huge number charities have been started by committed Christians. One example is my former employer, the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. It was started in the late 1960s by the Rev Kenneth Leech in St Anne's Church in Soho. But by the time I worked there in the 1990s, Centrepoint had virtually no connection with the… Continue reading Crisis of faith in social action: keeping Christian distinctiveness
Recently I was contacted by a Mum whose 5 year old daughter wanted to do something to help homeless people. What struck me was that their family situation is not at all easy - the daughter has additional needs and the family don't have a permanent home themselves at the moment and are staying with relatives.… Continue reading Hope in action (even if you’re little you can do a lot)
On Friday night, 40 people slept outside on cardboard in the churchyard of St James' Church Piccadilly in central London. I was there, along with my Mum (75), son (13), daughter (8), as well as my brother and two nieces. It was noisy and cold, and sightings of rats scurrying nearby did not exactly help any of us sleep… Continue reading ‘It has saved me from a whole heap of misery’: one night sleeping rough to help bring others in from the cold
It cannot be disputed that Churches are very good at establishing social action projects. In recent years this is illustrated by the high-profile rise of church-based Food Banks, Night Shelters, debt services and a whole range of street outreach. Organisations like The Trussell Trust, Street Pastors and Christians Against Poverty have seen their work grow at an incredible… Continue reading Losing their religion: why Christian charities lose their ethos
I live in Streatham, a residential area in south London and every day I walk the short distance to my local train station to go to work. Last week, just near the station, I saw a man huddled up, sleeping in the telephone box. It was bitterly cold and he looked horribly uncomfortable. I was… Continue reading Now is the time to make our voice heard about the scandal of homelessness
Dear R&R friends, Thanks for reading R&R this year. I continue to be encouraged by the growth of interest and from the comments and messages I receive via this blog. So far this year over 140,000 different people have visited the site. As you may know, much of what is written comes from reflection on my work.… Continue reading Can you help a homeless person exchange the cold streets for a warm bed this Christmas?
Date: Wednesday 4th November 2015, 9.30am – 4.00pm Venue: Hinde Street Methodist Church, London, W1U 2QJ Cost: £15.00, including lunch For more details and to book a place please go to Eventbrite In an increasingly secular environment, tensions frequently emerge between a Christian ethos and the delivery of professional social care. This has… Continue reading Faith Full Service? Integrating Christian faith alongside high quality social care, 4th November, central London
I left school in 1990 and got a job as a cleaner in central London. This involved being on the Strand, by Charing Cross Station, at 7.00am. The extent of the rough sleeping at that time was truly incredible. There were 3-4 people sleeping under almost every doorway. Walking down a road like Villiers Street,… Continue reading “The homeless? Aren’t they the people you step over when you come out of the opera?” – politics and rough sleeping