What is a Warm Space?

Sometimes called Warm Hubs or Warm Banks, a ‘Warm Space’ is simply somewhere people can come inside and get warm.

As a result of the increase in energy costs, and the fear that many will be unable to afford to heat their homes during the day, many churches and community organisations are considering setting up ‘Warm Spaces’.

Many churches are already opening their doors for toddler groups, foodbanks or drop ins. ‘Warm Spaces’ may simply happen at the same time as these activities.

Some practical first steps to take as you think this through, and some good principles to follow are below.

We are working with the Warm Welcome campaign. They’re equipping churches and other community organisations to open their doors and provide free, safe, warm, and welcoming spaces for those struggling to heat their homes this winter. We encourage any churches in the Diocese of London who are considering offering a “Warm Space” to sign up on their website and receive a helpful resource pack HERE.

Other Resources and Webinars

  • Money Saving Expert founder, Martin Lewis, created a free Warm Spaces resource pack with many top tips relevant for churches.

  • A really helpful Warm Spaces webinar was run on the 5th September by the Methodist Church’s Connexional team.

  • Their FAQs answer many of the important questions you may have about safeguarding, what to include in a Warm Space, how to work with others and how to fund it.
  • Gateshead Council is working with over 50 organisations to run Warm Spaces this winter and have some excellent resources on their website.

  • Read our recent blog from St Johns Kensal Green as they consider how they might offer their local church as a “Warm Space” this winter

Some practical steps to take

Here are some suggested next steps (with thanks to our friends in the Diocese of Southwark for this list!):

  • Pray with others for God’s leading and guiding in this endeavour. How does this initiative shape/ reshape the focus of the church?

  • Contact your local school/ library/ GP surgery/ neighbouring church/ faith group etc to find out what they are thinking/ doing

  • Contact your Local Authority and/or local councillor to find out what they know/ can offer

  • Consider how you might identify what the key needs and times are in the community

  • Start small and sustainable. Signpost to other groups so that your offering is part of a larger response (across the diocese and borough)

  • Design some literature/ use some pre-designed templates to tell people what is on offer

  • Consider how you might time your warm space to maximise the benefit of a church/ hall space you have that is already warm e.g. after a morning service or existing toddler group, or using a smaller space

  • Think about volunteering/ partnering with a group that is already launching an initiative in your locality

  • Gather information about other local initiatives such as food banks or pantries so that you can signpost people to other services that they might need

  • Ensure that people can bring their gifts and ideas so that people can be participants in building community and meeting needs

  • Let us know what you have started/ are planning to start. That way, we map the initiatives and share best practice as we learn together

  • Join a national movement: pledge your organisation as a Warm Welcome space and receive support and information about opening as a warm space this winter

Want more help?

Please contact our Development Worker Jill Dodd who is co-ordinating church responses to the Cost of Living Crisis this winter.

She’d love to hear from you and be delighted to offer support.