No Room at the Inn for the Homeless this Christmas

Churches are offering people an adventcalendar with a difference this Christmas. Launched under thebanner No Place Like Home, the interactive calendarfocuses on the issue of housing against the backdrop of thenativity story, aiming to raise awareness about the increasedthreat of homelessness and poverty in the UK. Bible reflections andaction points are hidden behind the calendar's windows whichreflect the campaign's four key themes: housing, affordability,stigmatisation and the Christmas story. People can keep up to datewith the calendar by following No Place Like Home on Tumblr and Twitter.

Rudi Richardson, founder of Streetlytes-UK - a charity helpinghomeless people and people with drug and alcohol problems, said: "Ihave been homeless in the UK, in the States and in Germany. I washomeless for seven years. Homelessness starts way before you arephysically homeless - there is a disconnect that is unresolved. Youinternalise those feelings and that is the problem. Homelessness isa spiritual problem too. I believe that the gift of hospitality isso important to the self-esteem of the homeless person. We arealready broken anyway and we need to know that we areloved."

The Methodist Church, the United ReformedChurch and the Baptist Union of Great Britain are all backing thecampaign. At the Methodist Conference in Plymouth this summer,Methodists voted to establish a group to look into policy onaffordable housing, assist Circuits and Districts in the localmanagement of housing resources and help people who arehomeless.

James North, Policy Adviser for the MethodistChurch, said: "Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis.Millions of families still search for a safe, affordable home,whilst numbers of homeless people accessing services, such as thoseprovided by Methodism's Whitechapel Mission to the Homeless,continue to rise. Many churches provide day centres and nightshelters and, following the government's spending cuts, they mustmaintain and increase their support. But the chronic shortage ofhomes is a broader issue. I hope this calendar inspires Churchesand individuals to 'make room at the inn' and continue working toensure that everybody has a decent home."


  • The West London Mission is running a campaign toraise awareness about the effect that the government's housingallowance cut is having on people in London. MethodistSuperintendent minister, Revd Sue Keegan von Allmen, is availablefor interview. 
  • See here for the calendar.
  • See here for photo of thecalendar.