The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing ‘s recently published ‘Coming Home’ report has called the church to play its part in solving the housing crisis in our nation and bearing witness to the ‘home with God’ to which we are invited.
Our response as a Diocese is to hold three events, our “Housing Summit”, over the next few months.
Each one is hosted by the Right Revd Graham Tomlin, who was the vice-chair of the Commision.
Each evening we aim to look at a different aspect of our church response, to housing issues and homelessness in our midst.
Each will bring a richness of excellent nationally renowned speakers mixed with intensely practical ideas and projects, as well as voices from local Diocese of London parishes and their experiences.
They aim to help those of us in the Diocese of London imagine how we can get involved in meeting housing need, engage with our communities, and enable people to encounter the love of God in Jesus Christ.
PART 1: Practical Parish Responses : How do we move beyond offering a bed for the night to offering homes to live in?
Thurs 29th April, 7.30-9pm
PART 2: Prophetic Action and Pushing for Change: Using our voice for a better vision for housing
Thurs 16th Sept, 7.30-9pm
PART 3: Putting Our Own House in Order: Stewardship of land, & affordable housing
Thurs 4th Nov, 7.30-9pm
How do we move beyond offering a bed for the night to offering homes to live in?
The evening, hosted by Bishop Graham Tomlin, will start by looking at the theology of housing, underpinning our whole response as churches.
We’ll have an overview of who in our society are most likely to find themselves homeless, and hear how the Covid-19 response “Everyone In” for street sleepers in 2020 has helped us reimagine what is possible for tackling homelessness.
Before the pandemic, by far the most co-ordinated church response to street sleeping have been “Winter Night Shelters”, spearheaded and co-ordinated by Housing Justice.
This has been successful across the Diocese for many years, but that has been massively disrupted by Covid. We’ll hear from Housing Justice, what happens next for the Night Shelter model.
We’ll then have short talks from several innovative initiatives and projects churches can get involved with, beyond Winter Night Shelters, to continue to respond to the issue of homelessness and the vulnerably housed.
We’ll will listen to stories from parishes who have journeyed with those who find themselves homeless, learning from their experiences.
We have an amazing line up of speakers:
Plus we’ll hear from 3 Diocese of London parishes who are all putting these ideas in to practice:
St Hildas Ashford, offering housing through Hope into Action
St James Piccadilly, setting up a befriending mentoring scheme with the Passage
and the Diocese of London clergy who have taken part in the Clergy Hosting Scheme as part of Housing Justice’s work