Winter Night Shelter

All Saints’ Church has been one of the host churches for the Peterborough Night Shelter since the beginning of the project. It is run by Light Project Peterborough and in September we will be contacted volunteers and starting the preparation for the 17/18 season.

The Project writes:

Very soon the winter of 2017/18 will be upon us! With this in mind we are preparing our Peterborough Winter Night Shelter for our third year of support for the homeless. Last year we supported 47 homeless guests to access warmth, love, good food and a comfy bed. Many of these were then supported into stable accommodation and are still fondly in our thoughts and prayers.

We run the shelter with help from the many volunteers, churches, businesses and members of the public that kindly roll up their sleeves and offer support, a real team effort! And here we are again, we dont want anyone to have to sleep on the streets, and we want all to have an offer of a warm and stable home.

There are simple ways to get involved, each one as important as the other. Please consider and pray whether you could help in any of these areas;

  1. Practical Donations – We purchase much of our bedding and linen but are always grateful to receive new or good quality second hand single duvet covers and pillow cases, single sheets, towels, toiletries (small sizes), disposable razors and men’s warm clothing underwear and socks.
  2. Volunteering – We will be in touch with all current volunteers in September with training dates and information. We have many different roles and without our many volunteers this project would not take place. You will get to meet some amazing people and have wonderful opportunities to make a difference in the lives of homeless people.

If you are new to our work and would like to put your name forward please email: volunteer@lightprojectpeterborough.org.uk

  1. Funding – The project costs approximatley £20,000 to run. We will have beds available every night from 11th December 2017 to 11th March 2018. This year we want to do more, being more active in meeting people before the start of the project and offering more follow up as they leave, so lots for us to do!

Funding can be given in a number of ways;

Electronically, we have a new BT donate funding page. It is great! No commission is taken from BT, so all your donations go to helping the homeless in Peterborough. This page can be found at:

www.mydonate.bt.com/events/pwns1718

If you are thinking about a fundraising event, consider using this page to publisice your event and do let us know!

Any cheques should be made to Light Project Peterborough and sent to Light Project Peterborough, FAO: Peterborough Winter Night Shelter, Park Road Baptist Church, Park Road, Peterborough, PE1 2TF

Any cash donations please email or contact via telephone to arrange collection. If you would rather put a cheque in someones hand than in the post please do get in touch.

  1. Pray – Please pray for the night shelter, there is much to do. We do want to keep learning and seeing lives changed for the better. Please pray for guidance, provision, protection and effectiveness in our work.
  2. Tell your friends about our shelter, and talk about homelessness. The more people we can get talking about this challenge the more likely we are to solve it!

For any offers of support or to find out more please speak to me, a night shelter church co-ordinator or contact Steven on 07758915290 or steven@lightprojectpeterborough.org.uk

Many, many thanks,

The Winter Night Shelter Team

 

The Rev’d Jun Kim reflects on the experience of being involved with the project:

‘Revealing Jesus’ love around us’

It has been three years since All Saints’ Peterborough started hosting Winter Night Shelter every Friday evening to Saturday morning during Winter. We are pleased to say that the PCC has decided to continue our journey with those who are homeless this year again. From December 2016 to March 2017, Winter Night Shelter provided 512 beds. 47 different guests stayed one night or more. More than 200 volunteers, Christians from 7 different churches and non-Christians gave about 6,700 hours of their time in total. At end of the project, 6 guests were able to move into Private Rented, 1 guest moved into the purchased accommodation, 14 guests moved into the accommodations in New Haven and YMCA.

Winter Night Shelter is run by Light Project Peterborough on a Housing Justice model. It has been blessed by so many generous people of Peterborough and supported by the council and the prison. It was a great privilege to work together with the churches from different denominations. It was humbling to see how we can be one for the sake of Gospel and put our differences aside. After all we are the same disciples who follow one Lord, Jesus Christ. It reminded us of the passage of Psalm. ‘How wonderful and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in harmony.’ (Psalm 131)

All Saints’ is not a mega church with hundreds of thousands of congregation. So is other churches who took part in Night Shelter Project. But this gave us an advantage. Thanks to that we were the churches around the local area within the same rage of size, we could work together in harmony and in balance.

We weren’t quite sure though where it would take us when we took our first step into the project. Undoubtedly there were some concerns about it. Not just about how we are going to have enough provisions and volunteers but also about how our communal life in All Saints’ will be affected by this project. There were plenty of things to worry about by which we could have let us to be deterred. However we took the first step trusting that this is what God calls to do. And that is when we started to see God’s hand working with us and through us.

We saw so many generous helping hands around us throughout the project. So many people donated so many things with which we enjoyed our dinner and breakfast together at the table, sharing fellowship and love with our guests. It can be often disheartening to read the newspapers or watch the news because the world seems to have lost kindness and generosity while selfishness and ignorance prevails. But kindness and generosity were right there around our lives, waiting to be called upon by us, by Christians. Through Night Shelter we saw All Saints’ has become more than an old building that costs a lot but a house which invites and encourages the generous, kind spirit in our community, embodying our common values both as Christians and neighbours.

We saw there is no guests or volunteers but one people who gathered at the same table to share a meal together, to pray to God together. It was amazing to see how people from different backgrounds, ethnicity, culture, language and religion gather together. All it took was one big table which we filled with our love and compassion to each other. It was a testimony that we are the same children of God, equally precious and deserve to be loved. The dinner and breakfast table with our guests was a Eucharist in the world to us. We felt God’s presence amonst us who blesses us and loves us regardless of our background or origin. We saw Jesus’ love to us in a simple act of kindness and love to each other throughout Night Shelter. We saw him. Perhaps that is why Jesus told his disciples the following. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’(Matthew 25.40)

Jun Kim May 2017

 

 

Peterborough WINTER NIGHT SHELTER at All Saints

For 3 weeks during May All Saints Church, Peterborough worked alongside 7 other churches in the city to trial a Night Shelter. During that time 90 beds were provided, 14 individual guests were served, and 137 volunteers took part. Four guests moved into their own more sustainable accommodation, 1 started a full-time job and 2 were actively engaging with the Council who were confident of being able to help them with accommodation.

It was wonderful to see that many opportunities were created for people from different Churches to serve together. And there were great ecumenical opportunities for Church Leaders to serve together.

A volunteer commented, “ When I entered the church hall on the first night of the Night Shelter I was touched because I could see the church embodying generosity and hospitality to people who are in need. It is always there but it was expressed in an impressive way in the Night Shelter and was a way of communicating our love.” Another volunteer wrote, “This is an essential service in our city. I was very impressed at how appreciative the guests were with the night shelter and I hope that it will be repeated in the winter…. I feel humbled by the whole experience.”

cook

(Our wonderful cook)

Following the success of the May trial the host churches have decided to continue with the winter provision. We are planning for the Night Shelter to run from 5th December to the end of February. This means that at All Saints will be hosting up to 8 guests every Friday night who would otherwise be sleeping without a roof over them at this cold time of year. We will provide hospitality and friendship, a hot evening meal & a place to sleep and then breakfast, before transport is provided back to the city centre. Six other churches will be doing the same.

What can I do to help? If you feel you could help there are lots of things that will need doing:

Set up the hall / prepare & serve food (evening meal and breakfast) / share time with the guests over a game of Scrabble or a cup of coffee / do the ‘overnight’ shift / help clear away and clean up at the end of the session.

setup

(  Church Hall set up with beds, activities and a communal table for the evening meal)

Training will be offered on Saturday 7th and 21st November as well as some evening shorter courses. The Night Haven will assess guests and provide our referrals together with assistance with logistics and co-ordination.

Throughout the history of Christianity church communities have been providing hospitality and shelter for those in spiritual or material need. At one level this has been demonstrated by Christians showing love for their neighbour and on a larger scale through monastic houses and charitable and humanitarian causes. The Night shelter follows in this tradition and results from Christians feeling moved to respond to those who sleep in our parks and on our streets.

For further information about volunteering at All Saints, please contact the Rev’d Greg Roberts on 896180, or TheRevdGregRoberts@Outlook.com

 Greg Roberts

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