Of your charity

The end of my sabbatical is now beginning to appear on the horizon. With the way Christmas falls if I’d gone right to the end of November then I would have missed Advent Sunday.  I couldn’t do that! So I will be making an appearance in the Cathedral on that wonderful day when we both begin the new Christian year and the approach to Christmas.  But I also couldn’t miss the ROBES Sleepout which happens on the Friday night before Advent Sunday.

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For the past few years I’ve joined those who, like me, are concerned about the numbers of our sisters and brothers who are homeless in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, in spending a night outside. Over those years my friends have helped me raise almost £28,000 for the project.  The ROBES Project is both simple and effective and Southwark Cathedral is delighted to be a partner in its work and to be the venue for the sleepout.

As someone who likes a good bed and my creature comforts I can’t say sleeping out in the churchyard is a comfortable way for me to spend a night – I monitor the weather forecasts nervously as the day approaches!  But I’m sure the people I pass on the streets would also like a good bed and a the comforts I enjoy and have very few choices left to them.  This can be a way back into a better life for them. You can find out more about ROBES by clicking here.

I am grateful to all those who follow my various blogs and have been reading this sabbatical one. I always like to share what I’m doing and thinking but I also keep the blog going for selfish reasons – I love writing and I like to get my thoughts down, even on virtual paper! So, if you could, of your charity, help the ROBES Project this year by sponsoring me I’d be really grateful.  You just have to click on the button on the right hand side of the screen.

I was seeking Jerusalem on Monday and went to the site of one of William Blake’s houses.  He wrote a poem called ‘London’ which begins like this.

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow. 
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
Things do not seem to change.  But they can. Thank you for your support – it means a huge amount to me, it means even more to those who will be the guests of the project.
Loving God,
the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head.
May those who are homeless on our streets
find warmth, shelter, love
and a new beginning
through our work with ROBES.
Amen.
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