The Independent London Newspaper
25th September 2017

Churches open doors to rough sleepers

    Published: 21 November, 2016
    By TOM FOOT

    HOMELESS men and women are bedding down in churches as part of a major night shelter scheme in the run up to Christmas.

    Every night, one of the borough’s churches offers beds, food and showers for 14 rough sleepers selected by the Camden-based CW4S church charity, which is run by volunteers.

    Emmanuel Church in Lyncroft Gardens, West Hampstead, has been able to take part for the first time following a major £670,000 refurbishment to the building.

    Vicar, Father John Kester, said: “We’re in one of the nicer parts of the borough and we didn’t want to be doing up our own church for our own use. We thought what can we practically do. 

    “We are one of a group of 14 churches that take half the season each night. Our night is Tuesdays.”

    The charity works with the homeless to try and get them into housing.

    Fr Kester added: “Basically, the church floor was sinking all over the place. Everything had to come out. 

    “We have reinforced the concrete floor, there is under-floor heating and the 1960s tired old meeting room has been replaced. We want the church to be a real community space.” 

    Other churches taking part include St Pancras Church in Euston and St James’s in West Hampstead.

     

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