A gateway for Doncaster’s homeless
How some unexpected visitors led to an innovative homelessness project in Doncaster. Rod Morrison reports
Long before the shops in the town centre of Doncaster started to open on Sunday mornings, when public libraries were closed on Sundays and public toilets too, one or two homeless people spoke to the church secretary of Hall Gate United Reformed Church as he was sweeping the church steps before morning worship one day. They told him there was nowhere they could use a toilet or have a wash and brush up.
The secretary and I opened the doors of the church to enable that small number of homeless people to use the church toilets. We offered them a cup of tea and a place to sit awhile.
From this small beginning grew a Sunday morning drop-in service in the church halls serving homeless and vulnerable people, offering breakfast, hot showers, fresh clothes and a limited laundry service. Free Gospels and other supporting Christian booklets were available. People requested prayers, which were then included in the Sunday service and emailed to a small prayer support group. Ideally situated in the centre of the town, the church ran the breakfast service for 28 years, supported by volunteers from other local churches…
Rod Morrison serves as an Elder for Hall Gate United Reformed Church, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
This is an extract from an article that was published in the October 2018 edition of Reform