When? Sunday closest to 10 October - World Homeless Day

Each year Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action support Homeless Sunday with information and worship resources. Homeless Sunday takes place on a Sunday close to World Homeless Day, which is on 10 October.

In 2020, Homeless Sunday brings to a conclusion World Homeless Week, overseen by Church Homeless Trust

The importance of Homelessness Sunday

Homeless Sunday has been part of the Christian calendar for more than a quarter of a century. Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action provide information about homelessness in your area.

For worship planning, Church Homeless Trust has produced a worship guide, We all need a home, and Housing Justice has compiled "resources for clergy" that include a 10 minute recorded sermon by the Rt Revd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton.

The Joint Public Issues Team has gathered together a range of personal stories of homelessness, and asks: What will you do to end homelessness? In addition, Housing Justice is promoting a Bible Study Course downloadable from Alabaré Christian Care & Support.

Hymns for the homeless

(Also see our suggestions for the broader topic of Social Justice.)

A range of hymns in Singing the Faith respond directly to the challenges that homelessness present to our faith and action, including many in the Justice and Peace section (StF 693 – 723). Particularly apt hymns for this Sunday include:

I will speak out for those who have no voices by Dave Bankhead et al (StF 702), which also works effectively as a responsive prayer, and
In an age of twisted values by Martin Leckebusch (StF 703)

A more recent hymn from Andrew Pratt worth considering for this Sunday is If we claim to love our neighbour (website only), which was well received when it was published prior to the 2015 General Election. Written in response to a presentation by the Joint Public Issues Team, the words are designed to be sung to familiar tunes: Bethany (StF 25) or Scarlet Ribbons (StF 131). The hymn begins with a stark challenge:

If we claim to love our neighbour
while the hungry queue for food,
are we prey to self deception?

Also helpful are:

Bernadette Farrell’s perennially popular but challenging Longing for light, we wait in darkness (StF 706)
‘Come, now, you blessed, eat at my table’ by Ruth Duck (StF 695)
God of justice, Saviour to all by Tim Hughes (StF 699)

But you don’t need to confine yourself to this section of the hymn book. For example:

Allan Dickinson’s Where can we find you, Lord Jesus our Master? (StF 672).The words were inspired in part by some Bible Reading Notes that reflected on the incarnation of Jesus. They spoke of Jesus as being with and “for” the marginalised of society – “the poor, the homeless, the people that respectable people wouldn’t touch with a barge pole”.

Damien Body engages with the tough issues of prostitution and poverty in Dressed up on the kerbside (website only) – a hard hymn to sing but thought provoking even if read.