Rev James Hutchings is Sleeping Out in October
Rev James writes:
“Glass Door do brilliant work, I’m so blessed to have a roof over my head, and I’d like others to have the same chance. So, on 2 October 2020, I will be joining Glass Door Homeless Charity’s Sleep Out to bring shelter and support to men and women affected by homelessness.
I’m raising money for Glass Door because I know they are doing good work to support and shelter those in our community who are at an absolute crisis point. Glass Door welcomes everyone as their guest, giving them some stability before helping them make the necessary steps and move off the streets for good.
While running winter night shelter in a shared space may not be possible, Glass Door is committed to finding ways to ensure that individuals in need can find safe shelter, a hot meal and a warm welcome.”
Click here if you would like to sponsor him.
It’s not too late to take part yourself, either sleeping out at Duke of York Square (still allowed with covid regulations) or in your own garden with a virtual livestream to join in with.
Rev James Hutchings from St Mary’s, Barnes spent the night of 2nd October sleeping on the rectory floor instead of the usual gathering in for the Glassdoor annual sleepout in Duke of York Square. He hoped that even that mild discomfort would sharpen his awareness of of what it must be like to be homeless in London on a night of terrible rain and what it must be to not have a secure place to live.
From Rev Anne Nickson, Richmond Team Ministry – 18th May:
At the beginning of lockdown, as our churches were required to close, we were unable to continue to offer accommodation in our buildings as part of Glass Door’s Winter Night Shelter. Thankfully the government stepped in to work with homeless charities to provide accommodation to protect these most vulnerable people and keep them safe as the crisis deepened. Sadly, this government aided assistance came to an end as lockdown began to ease and as you will be aware the numbers of homeless sleeping rough on our streets is increasing by the day.
This desperate situation will only continue to worsen as we move towards the winter and we obviously are eager to continue to support Glass Door in appropriate ways so that both guests and volunteers stay safe. At the moment – and the situation constantly changes – it seems very unlikely that night shelters as we have offered them in our churches over the last three years will be able to open, but there will be opportunities to support the homeless by working with Glass Door in other ways. Our coordinators are keeping in regular contact with the directors at Glass Door so that when the time is right we can step up and offer the help which is needed.
If you would like to know more about Glass Door then please see their website at www.glassdoor.org.uk
GlassDoor is starting to plan night shelters for the 2020-2021 season – they may not be operating rotating shelters as usual in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, but are working hard to think about alternatives.
At our January synod meeting we agreed to give £2,000 to Glass Door to support the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons of their work in Richmond churches and their letter of thanks is below.
Update From Glassdoor – 23rd March
Shelter guests now all moved to hotels! (Apart from a few guests in the Kensington and Chelsea circuit) Glass Door shelters shut so all guests and volunteers can safely go into self-isolation.
Update From the Vineyard Community Centre – 23rd March
We are pleased to say that the government’s initiative to temporarily home rough sleepers in hotels has been initiated in Richmond and that the higher health risk of the Glassdoor winter nightshelter has now closed.
With others, we will continue to support the needs of this group with food and essentials as they now also have the possibility of staying indoors.
Our borough foodbank service continues and is very likely to increase in demand. We are in touch with our local authority to see how vulnerable groups can best be supported.
The winter night shelters are now open until April 2020. In the Richmond Circuit the following churches will be hosting one night each week:
Sundays at St Marys, Ferry Road,Teddington
Mondays at St Elizabeths, The Vineyard, Richmond
Tuesdays at Vineyard Life Church, The Vineyard, Richmond
Wednesdays at All Saints, East Sheen Avenue, East Sheen
Thursdays at St John the Divine, Kew Road, Richmond
Fridays at Christ Church, Christ Church Road, East Sheen
Saturdays at St Matthias, Friars Stile Road, Richmond
St Michael and All Angels will host one night of the Hammersmith circuit. (A circuit is a group of 7 churches – close together in distance – who open their doors, on the same night every week, from October – April, each year offering the homeless a hot meal and a bed for the night.)
Please prayer for the men and women who will stay at the shelters and for the the volunteers and caseworkers that will help the guests to better lives.
If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough, you can send an alert via StreetLink who connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them.
On Sunday 2nd February, St Mary Magdalene reported:
After the first 60 days of this Glass Door Homeless Charity season, 422 men and 88 women have been helped with a hot meal and a bed for the night – a 20% increase thanks to a 5th circuit.
Since June 2018 caseworkers have worked with 950 individuals and helped 114 into housing and 38 into employment.
Would you be able to provide any of the following for our Glass Door guests (travel size particularly wanted): deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, face wipes, body wipes, sanitary towels, tampons, lip balm, hand cream, anti-bac gel. Please pop into the baskets at the back of St John’s or St Matthias or them into the Parish Office, Ormond Road. Thank you.
Waitrose have kindly donated oranges which have been made into delicious Marmalade, which went on sale at church this morning with profits going to Glass Door.
Our first evening of the new night shelter season with Glass Door. Delicious butternut squash soup, lasagne, red cabbage and peas, lots of donated fresh bread, chocolate crispy cakes made by a local school and cakes made by one of our church families.
We welcomed 20 guests in from the cold, for a hot healthy meal and somewhere safe to sleep. Case workers are on hand to support the guests in their next steps.
Thank you all for showing God’s love in action
Sleep Out 2019
The total raised to date has reached over £191,000 – the highest amount raised within a week after the event, which has taken place the first Friday of October every year since 2013. Glass Door is hoping to surpass the £200,000 target before the end of the month.
The winter night shelter project in across the deanery in partnership with GlassDoor was hosted by St Matthias and St John the Divine in Richmond and All Saints and Christ Church in East Sheen. The project has now ended and the shelters are empty…..
The work continues throughout the year click here to find out how NextDoor are looking ahead to next winter.
- Glass Door Update to Deanery Synod 5th June 2019
- We had 158 guests in our shelters – ⅓ from the UK, ⅓ from the EU and ⅓ from the rest of the world . Guests included 58 women, the highest percentage of the four circuits. However some women would just come for the meal and then go..
- 35 people have been rehoused.
- Large numbers have been reconnected with benefits and family.
- The Glass Door project was mentioned in a recent council meeting. This year the council have been very supportive of the project unlike three years ago.
- Issues arising this year that GlassDoor are addressing for next year:
- Need to consider disabled access
- Need to make closer links with women’s refuges
- Training in mental health issues so issues with guests can be spotted. It was noted the police needed training as well as the volunteers.
- The Deanery hosted 4 out of the 7 nights in the Richmond circuit and the level of volunteering has been wonderful.
One guest was quoted as saying “I had no home and lost my business but GlassDoor turned my life around”.
As the GlassDoor shelters closed in April, Father Peter Hart asked us to pray…
…for the guests who may have returned to sleeping rough or sofa-surfing.
… for all those who have been rehoused, found work, had their benefits sorted out, put back in contact with family, had their documents restored – a blessing for them.
…for the staff and volunteers at the Vineyard Centre, Richmond as they continue to offer support and practical help throughout the year.
We should also give thanks….
…for the amazing volunteers who have made the winter night shelter project in partnership with GlassDoor possible.
…for an amazing community response to the project. Not just from the Churches but from the wider community and local schools.
…five months of welcome, fine food and good company