Today was a bi-monthly gathering of leaders from churches all over the Colchester area under the banner of “Seeking God’s Blessing for Colchester”. It was good to catch up with leaders from a wide range of churches including Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Brethren, URC, Methodist, new churches and Evangelical churches. We were looking at the issue of homelessness and sharing news about the various projects that we’re variously involved in.
Beacon House is a primary health care centre that offers a wide range of health care and lifeskills services.
The Soup Run has been providing a hot meal to homeless people every night since it started in 1992.
Open Door is a drop in that’s open four mornings a week in the centre of town.
Night stop, part of a national organisation, provides safe emergency accommodation for homeless young people aged 16-25 in the homes of approved volunteers.
Sanctuary is a new project that aims to provide a home where people will be able to receive healing and training in lifeskills with others in a large house with a family atmosphere.
Then there’s the YMCA Foyer project, Emmaus and a number of smaller church projects. And during very cold weather there’s a process whereby a number of churches open up as emergency night shelter accommodation.
It’s amazing how much is going on, and that’s not including the non-faith based projects like the Night Shelter and the April Centre.
What makes so much of this possible is the wonderful co-operation and unity that exists between churches of every style, stream or denomination (however you like to phrase it.) It certainly seems to make a difference.