Winter Night Shelter

Since 2011 St Bart's has played an active role in helping run the Reigate and Banstead Winter Night Shelter. Although not held at the church, members have gone to other churches in the Redhill, Reigate and Horley area to volunteer to look after people who have found themselves homeless over the winter period. St Bart's sister church St Wilfrid's has been host to the homeless for one night of the week for past couple of years. There are many ways to help, including driving, socialising, cooking, serving dinner and there are also opportunities to donate food, clothing and toiletries.

For more information click on the link above for contact details and watch for notices in the winter period each year. Below are some experiences of past volunteers.

Meanwhile, you may want to join with us in praying for the homeless and those helping them with this universal prayer:

Loving God, our refuge and our hope,

we pray for the homeless of our borough.

May they feel the warmth of Your love

through the welcome of our shelters

and may those who help know Your gracious

presence and provision as they serve others.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

      Amen.

Volunteer experiences

"It's amazing and a privilege to help these people on a small part of their journey. They are in desperate need for someone to just love them and listen to them - and treat them like normal human beings. I have volunteered as a befriender and on the welcome team and, for the first time this year, taken up the role of shoft supervisor. I would recommend volunteering to anybody as an experience that is eye-opening, sometimes shocking, but immensely rewarding! Anna Coe

"It's certainly been rewarding. I've made some new friends amongst the other volunteers and learned lots about some of the particular hardships the homeless face - not just having nowhere consistent to sleep, but physical and political barriers facing them because of past addiction or criminal record. But it's good to know we can do something for them as well as pray they will find the strength to get back on track, as some of them have from previous years." James Haslett

"This was my second year of helping and I found it a humbling and uplifting experience. When people have nothing but can still be thankful and optimistic it makes you realise how lucky you are to have somewhere to sleep and enough food to eat. Sometimes in our busy lives we lose sight of just how blessed we are.  I work in a Reigate school and discovered several people who couldn't help as a volunteer due to family commitments but gave me toiletries and clothes to pass on, the school also gave me fresh fruit to share. Hopefully it will run again next year if needed but how wonderful it would be if something more permanent could be found. God Bless and watch over them all when the shelter ends and keep them safe." Tina Squire


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