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Other Events

5 November 2015 - Service of Commemoration

See the press release here >>

Read the Revd Canon Steven Saxby's Reflection here >>

The list of homeless people who died in the last year
can be downloaded here >>


6 November 2014 - Service of Commemoration

See the press release here >>

Photographs from the Service of Commemoration can be seen here >>

The list of homeless people who died in the last year
can be downloaded here >>


 

Click the links below for further information on past events:

20.09.2014 Destitute Migrants & Refugees - What Can I Do?
07.11.2013 Service of Commemoration 
22.05.2013 Practical Responses to the London Housing Crisis 
08.11.2012 Service of Commemoration
10.10.2012 The Housing Crisis in London: Mobilising the Church
16.09.2011 Visit to Scargill Retreat Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 


Destitute Migrants and Refugees: What Can I Do?

20 September 2014

Destitute migrants and refugees constitute a humanitarian crisis on everyone's doorstep and, in these times (Fall 2014) of growing anti-immigrant sentiment in the media and politics, the results, together with the mainly positive atmosphere, were a considerable achievement.

Open Technology was the format chosen for the event, allowing attendants to formulate the agenda, i.e. the subjects of workshops, which resulted in a whole raft of practical proposals which the attendants, individual as well as organisational, committed to pursue. 

find out more about Open Space Technology here >>>

The workshop reports and action plans were compiled into a report which can be downloaded here >>> 


Service of Commemoration

7 November 2013

The names of over 130 homeless and formerly homeless people who have died over the last year in London were read out at the annual service of commemoration at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Thursday, 7 November.  

This important service is organised annually by The Connection, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Housing Justice and brings together everyone who wants to remember those who have died during the year, whether still on the streets, in hostels or those who have moved into accommodation after being homeless. 

Sleeping rough has long term detrimental effects to health and can often shorten someone’s life span with many dying younger than they should, even once they have moved into settled accommodation. 

Stuart was homeless and is now housed but has been going to the service for five years “Last year was the hardest because I knew someone who had died and it was like losing a member of your family. Once you become friends on the street you become friends for life and the service gives us a chance to remember old friends. You never forget who helped you.”   

Those that take part include homeless and formerly homeless people, as well as staff and volunteers from the many homeless agencies and churches which support homeless and vulnerable people in London.  

Rev Richard Carter of St Martin in the Fields leads the service. Richard explains “The theme for this year was “the last shall be first” and our hope is just that, that some of those who died on the margins of society may be brought into the centre of our attention, and may be remembered with the respect, humanity and dignity we all long for. I think it is particularly appropriate that this service should be in St Martin’s on the edge of Trafalgar Square, in the centre of London in the week of remembrance. It is our prayer that those who may have often felt “outsiders” may be remembered at the heart of this city, and in a church which celebrates the inclusive love of God for all.”  

There were a series of readings, and moving musical performances from Streetwise Opera and the Choir with no Name. Also taking part in the service were a group of Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart. 

The names of those who had died were read out by representatives from The Connection, The Passage, Barka UK and Groundswell. Each individual’s life was symbolically remembered by placing hands upon a tree at the altar of St Martin’s, and all who took part in the service were given the name of one of those who had died, to remember in prayer. 

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Practical Responses to the London Housing Crisis

22nd May 2013

This was a follow-up seminar from the conference entitled 'The Housing Crisis in London', held on 10.10.12 - see further down on this page.

While last year's event aimed at identifying the causes of the London Housing Crisis - high rents and insufficient housing stock - this year's seminar focused on exploring ways for the Churches to practically tackle the crisis head on, with innovative ideas.

Delegates saw Community land trusts as being one key solution, and future developments will be called for.

An audit of Church-owned sites and buildings that could lend themselves to affordable housing was looked into. 

EVENT RESOURCES

A number of presentations were made, the first of which was a synopsis of the first event.

The presentations of the seminar are available for download, and are listed, right >>>>

Terry Drummond, Advisor on Urban and Public Policy to the Bishop of Southwark, has written an article derived from the event, and it is listed, right, as well. 

Housing Justice is determined and very focused on taking forward this agenda, and our Faith in Affordable Housing project lies at the heart of our drive to see Churches and Christian organisations generally make their unused land and/or buildings available for affordable housing.

We have been actively involved in the development of the successful East London Community Land Trust, and will continue to push authorities to support further developments. 

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The Housing Crisis in London: Mobilising the Church

10th October 2012

Event convened by Housing Justice, the London Church Leaders Group for Social Action and the Joint Public Issues team of the Baptist and United Reformed Churches.

This is the report from the conference of the same name organised by Housing Justice, the London Churches Group for Social Action and the Methodist/Baptist/URC Joint Public Issues Team on 10th October, World Homeless Day. 

The conference was called in response to the growing shortage of affordable housing in London, now at crisis proportions for people on low or average incomes, and to households receiving welfare benefits. 

Clergy and church personnel, as well as advice and support workers, are already mobilising as poorer households are priced out of their homes in London. The welfare reforms in 2013 are widely expected to make this crisis even worse.

The Conference brought together more than 70 church leaders and representatives. Expert speakers, whose presentations are included in the report, included Paul Morrison of the Methodist/Joint Public Issues Team on Poverty; Kate Barker CBE, on Financial Policy: Steve Wilcox of York University on Housing Supply; and Alison Gelder of Housing Justice who set out policy alternatives to Benefits Caps.

Several recommendations for action are included in the report, including: 

  • Need for more ethical lettings agencies, charging fair rents and being prepared to grant longer and more secure tenancies. 
  • Christian landowners and investors (including churches) should use available land to develop genuinely affordable housing for individuals and families with the greatest need. 
  • Churches are encouraged take a stand against public attitudes or NIMBYism, and support the development of more homes where they are most needed.

Further recommendations include challenging the benefit cuts, and tackling the injustices in the present taxation system

Terry Drummond of the London Church Leaders Group for Social Action writes in the report: “It is completely unacceptable in 2012/13 that a wealthy nation such as the United Kingdom leaves so many individuals and families living in sub standard housing. This is about how ordinary people survive – or fail to survive - in British society.”

Alison Gelder of Housing Justice added “To have somewhere we call home is a fundamental part of our human dignity. To be deprived of such a basic necessity is to feel less than human”

 

See the full conference report

See the press release

See the presentation by Professor Steve Wilcox, York University

 

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Service of Commemoration

8 November 2012

Every year during Remembrance Week, Housing Justice joins with St Martin in the Fields and the Connection to organise a special service to remember the homeless and formerly homeless people who have died in the past year. In this year‘s service a list of 154 names were read out, including staff and volunteers from the many day centres, hostels churches and other agencies responding to the needs of homeless people. The list of those who have died may be found lower down this page.

Rev Richard Carter of St Martin in the Fields led the Commemoration Service, and the theme this year was “Welcoming Angels Unaware”. Richard explains “It is one of the most moving and important services that takes place at St Martin’s each year. The list of those who have died is frighteningly long.  This service, we pray, gives a sense of dignity to all those who have died, many who never found a home and felt lost and excluded. The title of the service this year leads us to think about where and in whom we find the angels of God and the welcome that we provide, or fail to provide, for visitors, strangers, refugees, and neighbours."

Rev Richard Carter of St Martin in the Fields led the Commemoration Service, and the theme this year was “Welcoming Angels Unaware”. Richard explains “It is one of the most moving and important services that takes place at St Martin’s each year. The list of those who have died is frighteningly long.  This service, we pray, gives a sense of dignity to all those who have died, many who never found a home and felt lost and excluded. The title of the service this year leads us to think about where and in whom we find the angels of God and the welcome that we provide, or fail to provide, for visitors, strangers, refugees, and neighbours."

See the list of the Homeless People who died in the last year 

See the picture gallery

See the press release

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Visit to Scargill Retreat Centre

16-18 September 2011

Thanks to a generous grant from the Church Urban Fund, Housing Justice was able to organise this week-end visit to the Scargill Christian Retreat Centre in Yorkshire.

The event was aimed at representatives from new, potential and existing church winter shelters - see our shelters video

Delegates came from far and wide, notably Bradford, Chesterfield, Crewe, Ealing, Wycombe, Huddersfield, Leicester, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle and Rugby.

See the full report here >>

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2013 Commemoration Service

Download the 2013 list of homeless people who died here >>  

   

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Drummond

 

EVENT RESOURCES
Synopsis of October 2010 event
Church Land Strategy
Phoenix Housing presentation
Y:Cube Housing presentation
Terry Drummond article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Barker

Kate Barker, CBE, author of the Barker Review

CLICK PIC TO VIEW GALLERY

 

 

Steve Wilcox
Prof. Steve Wilcox, York University

CLICK PIC FOR PRESENTATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A candle for the dead

Click picture to see gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scargill report cover

Scargill report download >>