Sunday, 28 June 2015

The homeless ones.

I listened this morning to an account of the Bishop of Manchester walking and talking with the homeless in the city.

I know Manchester well....or I used to... I know it's changed a lot in the last few years.

The stories of the people he talked to this morning are repeated in all the big cities and towns of Britain and I recognise some of the accounts of looking for shelter, food and drink. We do have our rough sleepers here too....

During my husbands time as the church warden here it was important to him that the church was not locked. Arriving for an early morning service I sometimes found the pews at the back of the church filled with old clothes, bottles, empty cans etc, the detritus of the homeless...

Often the men would stay and join in the service. There was almost always good will between the congregation finding the homeless in their midst. Afterwards they could have coffee and some did but by that time most had moved on into the town.

Our visitors were always men...we never found a woman sleeping rough in our church so this morning I was shocked to hear that women were amongst the homeless speaking to the bishop...

To be homeless in Manchester has got to be worse than being homeless here but I heard the despair, the lack of hope in the voices of those who tried to explain why they were there.

There but for the grace of God go we all. I now feel guilt, sorrow and relief in equal measures that I am not in their number and also am thankful for those trying to help them....Lord hear my prayer.

1 comment:

  1. We have a few homeless here too. Occasionally they 'doss down' in the churchyard overnight. and just a few come into the church when it is open.
    There appear to be huge numbers of reasons for people becoming homeless, sometimes their own, but more often not really their fault.
    Combinations of circumstances often conspire to take away control from those affected and getting back the reins is almost impossible.
    Sadly successive governments have failed to get to grips with the problem, preferring to sweep uncomfortable facts under the carpet, and so it grows.
    I don't claim to have the answers but I do know that cutting these unfortunates off from everyday life is not the answer.
    They do not need punishment, they need help corporate and individual.
    There, as you said, but for the grace of God, and good furtune, go all of us.

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