An Advent Sleepout at Christ Church

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THE Archdeacon of Oxford, the Ven. Martin Gorick, and his colleagues at Christ Church Cathedral are joining in the national Church Urban Fund Advent Sleepout challenge. Martin said: “I used to be the vicar of an Urban Priority Area parish in Birmingham and CUF supported us at an early stage of a project to provide a healthy living centre in Smethwick. They were the first charitable trust to get on board and gave us £25,000. It was for a project that cost £750,000 and it came at an ideal time as we found out talking to other organisations that they are a really respected funder.”

Preparing for a cold night in the cathedral are, from left, the Revd Canon Edmund Newey, the Sub Dean; the Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, the Dean;  The Ven Martin Gorick, the Archdeacon of Oxford and Christ Church student Frazer MacDiarmid. Photo Jo Duckles.

Preparing for a cold night in the cathedral are, from left, the Revd Canon Edmund Newey, the Sub
Dean; the Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, the Dean; The Ven Martin Gorick, the Archdeacon of Oxford and Christ Church student Frazer MacDiarmid. Photo Jo Duckles.

Martin said: “They are professional, capable and believe in the potential of the local church to transform lives in some of the most deprived areas.”
Martin said that he felt living at Christ Church, which is also a college of Oxford University, was an ideal opportunity to take part in the sleep-out, and hoped others would join him. Across the country, groups will be taking part in the challenge to raise funds for CUF so the charity can continue to support people struggling with issues such as debt, homelessness, isolation and addiction. In 2014 an estimated 2,744 people were sleeping rough on any one night in England, a rise of 55 per cent since 2010. As well as this, there are 8.8 million people who are struggling with problem debt, CUF statistics reveal.  To help tackle these issues, groups are being encouraged to get imaginative in the run up to Christmas as they turn spaces in their communities into stables to sleep in. Church halls, back gardens, sheds, and garages will host the sleepouts.
Paul Hackwood, CUF executive chair, said “Advent is a unique time for Christians as we remember that God chose to walk among us in the most truly humble of circumstances. The Advent Sleepout Challenge is a way for us to respond to that by placing ourselves in our very own ‘stables’ so that we can support the most vulnerable in our country.”

 

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