S. George's and Holy Spirit in Derby supporting the Night Shelter for the Homeless


"The Derby Night Shelter ended on the 1st of April. Parishioners Ray, Denise, Joseph, John, Karan, Rose, Phillip and Marion from S. George's and Holy Spirit in Derby have for the last four months been volunteering in the shelters at PearTree Baptist Church and S. Mary's Catholic Church. These are two out of seven venues that offer a shelter to the homeless in Derby; in the five other venues, there are many more volunteers working hard. I was invited to join the team at Pear Tree Baptist to see first hand how the support is given. People become homeless for lots of different reasons. There are social causes of homelessness, such as the lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment and life events which cause individuals to become homeless. And for many, life events. like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems, or substance misuse, can be the trigger. Being homeless can, in turn, make many of these problems even harder to resolve. The average homeless person dies at just forty-nine years old after a long term sleeping rough.

"At the Pear Tree Baptist, I witnessed at first hand the great need for the Shelter, with the men and women that came for a hot meal, a bed and company. I thank all the volunteers from all our Catholic Churches in Derby for their commitment and for making a real difference and being great witnesses to our Catholic Faith by volunteering within a great ecumenical project.

"As a parish we have donated fifty sleeping bag liners to the shelter for next year. Paul Monroe, the Shelters project Manager, said that the liners will have a significant impact on the sleeping conditions of the clients they serve. I am proud that as a parish we have given our time, people resources and a charitable donation to help the Homeless of Derby through the Shelter." - Canon Alan Burbidge

Canon Burbidge is Parish Priest at S. George's and at the Holy Spirit, in Derby.