Through this winter Methodist Central Hall Westminster helped to staff the night shelter at St. Paul’s Church, Rossmore Road. This work is done in collaboration with West London Day Centre and 13 other churches (of various denominations).
This year, with agreement from all the volunteer churches, Westminster Churches Winter Night Shelter (WCWNS) extended this provision from 5 months to 8 months (October 2015 to May 2016) in response to the increasing need for this service.
Due to the enthusiasm of our volunteers, the generous donation of food from the Orrery restaurant, the hospitality of St. Paul’s church and your own donations, Methodist Central Hall increased its participation from 2 months to 3 months. With a team of 31 volunteers – including some new faces – from other churches as well as the Hall, we served 180 2-course meals on a Friday evening and 180 breakfasts on Saturdays over the 3-month period.
It is difficult for me to put into words how much this ministry is appreciated by the guests. We play a small part in a much bigger picture as West London Day Centre help these individuals gain employment, secure their own accommodation and re-unite some of them with their estranged families. In fact one of our guests this year – after moving into a flat – has returned as a night shelter volunteer because he ‘wants to give something back’.
We have had some meaningful conversations with our guests and they are truly grateful for the church’s proactive involvement in providing a warm welcome and a safe space for them.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their service and giving of their free time; for their passion, sense of fun and team-work. Also may I express my sincere thanks to the generous donations of the church. None of this would be possible without you – so thank you.
I have been informed recently that the night shelter has received a significant donation from the tithe allocation which will be used to replace sleeping equipment and to fund the transportation of food from the restaurant to the church.
I consider this to be an exciting and relevant ministry where we leave the familiarity of our own building and ‘GO’ to be alongside those on the margins where we endeavour to show the love of God.
If you want to know more or would like me to come and speak to your group about this in more detail please come and have a chat with me.
Deacon Kina Saunders