Social Action

Social Action

Urgent food request for the Calais Refugee Camps

News reports earlier in September highlighted that food supplies in the refugee camp at Calais were running very low. During the London District Synod a week ago an appeal was made by Rev David Hardman for Methodists in the London District to be a people of action and prayerfully respond to the needs of people in our world. Synod responded and the request has gone to all churches to join in making a collection of food. Donations will be collected…

Celebrating the Wonder of Creation

Last weekend we celebrated our harvest festival on the theme of “Wonder of Creation”. Saturday morning we held a Big Breakfast which was very well attended, had a great atmosphere and raised £110 for Christian Aid. Thank you to everyone who came. Sunday morning was a very special service, led by Revd. Adam (his first service with us!) when he preached on how wonderful creation is and launched our campaign against climate change and environmental abuse. You can hear the…

Statements from the Methodist Church following EU Referendum

The Revd Steve Wild and Jill Barber, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have released the following joint statement following the EU referendum. The people have spoken through the democratic process.  We recognise that the result will cause pain to some people who voted with passion and integrity and that now is the time to move forward together with goodwill. The structures have changed but our hopes for a fair, just and equal society continue. We must now…

Connect, Challenge, Commit – Homeless Sunday

Connect During the service, we heard a number of statistics about homelessness in England. In 2014-15: 840 families and individuals were assessed as homeless 54,430 moved into Temporary Accommodation 1,368,312 families and individuals on council waiting lists 384,854 tenancies allocated last year 2,744 individuals were included in the Nov 2014 rough sleeper count. 7,581 people were found sleeping on London’s streets   Challenge Nicola told us the story of Billy, a fictional character but one which is based on many…

Rebuild Nepal – Leprosy Mission Sunday

This Sunday we heard the story of Krishna. When the earthquake of 25 April 2015 hit Nepal, Khrishna’s home was destroyed and his life changed forever by the death of his wife, who was inside the house when it collapsed. Already disabled by leprosy and now a lone parent to his two sons, life is desperately hard for Khrishna. The family is now living in a temporary shelter, which cannot protect them from the worst of the winter weather. You…

Kam’s diary on the Shelter Project as a first time volunteer

Kam visited the Shelter project for the first time last Thursday. She sent us a copy of her diary entry for the day. It shows brilliantly how the project benefits both the guests and volunteers and gives an overview of how the project works. Diary entry for the Shelter Project Hounslow, evening of Thursday 7 January 2016. Having volunteered to provide support in any way in the kitchen area, I undertook the role of General Kitchen Hand. I found the…

The Shelter Project has started

The Shelters opened yesterday (2nd) with Bell Road being used each Thursday. We, together with St Mary’s Osterley, are committed to running the Thursday shelter for the next 13 weeks. This involves welcoming the guests (up to 14 men each night), providing, cooking and serving a hot evening meal and cooked breakfast as well as setting up the beds etc. A volunteer sheet was given out before Christmas with all the information about the project on – if you didn’t get…

Enough

“Poverty is not being able to do things that are necessities. Things that are important like gas and electric, showers, bus fares, and having to worry that your daughter has a hole in her shoes. She needs new shoes and I don’t have the money. What do I do? Do I get gas or do I get shoes?” – Poverty in Scotland 2015, a Scottish Government & Poverty Truth Commission publication. In the UK, children raised in families without enough…

Shelter Project – Good News!

Recently there has been, and still is to a certain extent, a concern about the future of The Shelter Project Hounslow for this coming season. The Steering Group of the whole project met this last week to make important decisions about this winter and the level of service, if any, that could be offered. This was also Margaret’s first meeting as a member of the Steering Group, coordinating fund raising in the future. The good news is that the project…

We are now a Fairtrade church!

As part of our continuing campaigning against injustices we have joined over 7400 other places of worship in becoming a fair trade church. We hope with this additional commitment we can continue to promote fairtrade in the future. In becoming a Fairtrade church we have committed to: Use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all other events we run. Move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit. Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and…

“For the love of…” – Report from the Services

Katrina Recently went to a service “For the love of…” at the beginning of the mass lobby of Parliament on Climate Change. It took place across two churches, St. Margaret’s and Emmanuel Church both in Westminster. These are her thoughts. Those of us at St Margaret’s heard the  Bishop of Salisbury  Right Rev Holtam  speak  of God having created the earth and it was very good. We were given earth to live in and to care for it.  Are we…

Campaigning Group Report

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8) At last year’s General Church Meeting, Andrew reported on Bell Road’s ‘Year of Campaigning’ – including work on the campaign for justice for Bangladeshi garment workers, the ‘Flesh and Blood’ campaign (encouraging church members to see blood and organ donation as part of their Christian giving)…

The Shelter Project Annual Report

This was the second year of us coordinating the project here at Hounslow Methodist Bell Road. Again Margaret and I were the co-coordinators from Bell Rd. Steve with the help of Susan were the co- coordinators form St Mary’s. We had a full house straight away and most Thursday nights there were between 10-15 men staying over. We also for the first time people joining us just for a meal. On some Thursdays it felt like we were feeding the…

Tearfund: Ordinary Heroes

The latest campaign from Tearfund is ‘Ordinary Heroes’. Over the past 50 years Tearfund, Its partners and other Charities have made big strides in reducing poverty. The Ordinary Heroes campaign challenges us to help resolve two of the biggest challenges facing the world today, climate change and global inequality. Watch the video below to find out more about the campaign. Tearfund is encouraging you to look at where you get your fuel from, are you using 100% green energy? How…

Tearfund: No Child Taken

At our first Supper Talks evening a few weeks ago we heard fromTearfund about their work. They arecurrently running a number of Campaigns, we will feature a number of them over the coming weeks on this website. No Child Taken is an effort to stop the devastating impact of child trafficking on many of the poorest community’s in the world. Trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world. It shatters the lives of 1.2 million children every year, along with their…

Praying for our country: ‘Truth, Justice, Peace, Well-being’

After the election this week, whatever your thoughts on its outcome, you may wish to share in this reflection and prayer as we look to the future. For those who are now taking political office, that in serving our communities and national life – truth, justice, peace and wellbeing might become priorities for all. For those for whom these results mean significant change – that they might find grace and wisdom for the way ahead. That those with leadership and influence will act…

Wellbeing: Think, Pray, Vote

With less than a week to go, this weeks theme is wellbeing. We live in a culture that places much emphasis on the individual. We are bombarded by messages that tell ‘me’ to focus on what ‘I’ want, on what give comfort and security, on what is in ‘my’ best interest. ‘It’s all about me’ is one of today’s most influential mantras. the Bible strongly affirms our importance as individuals: each person has value in God’s eyes. Jesus spoke of people…

Peace – Think, Pray, Vote

God’s rebuke to his people as recorded by the prophet Jeremiah – ‘they have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, peace, pace, when there is no peace’- seems very appropriate for today. While political leaders are keen to emphasise their commitment to peace and peacemaking, how often do we see war as a last, rather than a first resort? Despite unspeakable human loss and suffering caused by war throughout history – and especially over the last century – we are no more inclined…

Justice – Think, Pray, Vote

In the weeks leading up to the election on May 7th we are using some of the resources produced by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) to help us prayerfully and responsibly consider our voting responsibilities. Over four weeks we are showing a short video in church each week on the different themes of Truth, Justice, Peace and Well-being. Thankyou to the Campaigning Group for organising this. To take home: You will also be given a postcard each week with…

Final Shelter Update

This season is now over and we bade our guests farewell this week. Having got to know some of them quite well we hope some will call in to see us at Coffee Stop sometimes. Several more of the men had good news to share with keys to pick up to rooms or flats in the next few days and some with some work. Many thanks go to the Project Caseworker, Raj, and to Beverley, the Project Coordinator, who have…

Shelter Update

This week is the last of this season’s Shelter. Several of the men are hoping to be in position to move into their own accommodation, some have managed to pick up some work, and support where possible is being arranged. It is a very unsettling time for our guests as the stability of the shelters come to an end and many are showing signs of anxiety. Please keep them in your prayers.

Because I am a girl – Plan UK

Jesus Christ is raging, raging in the streets, where injustice spirals and real hope retreats. Listen, Lord Jesus, I am angry too: in the Kingdom’s causes let me rage with you. – John Bell & Graham Maule In addition to information about benefit sanctions during the service(8th March) Ali also talked about the Plan UK campaign to end child marriage. Plan works with some of the worlds poorest children over their 76 year history they have found that young girls face…

Time to Rethink Benefit Sanctions

Love inspires the anger that curses poverty, preaches life’s enrichment, seeks equality. – Andrew Pratt During Sundays service (8th march), Ali talked about a recent Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) report into the effectiveness and consequences of the sanctions currently enforced on state benefits. The report uncovers some startling statistics. The full report and more information can be found here. Once you have read it or watched the video below you can write to your mp from here.

Shelter Update

We have just three Thursdays left in this season and we are continuing to provide meals and a bed for a night for our guests. The project’s coordinator and case worker are working hard to help our guests to find accommodation, work or appropriate support. The good news is that two of the men have, this week, moved into their own accommodation. We wish them well, rejoice with them and hold them in our prayers. Please continue to remember the…

Shelter Update – 1st February

The shelter season is half way through! This last week the shelter was completely full – we had 14 overnight guests and provided an additional 11 meals for those turning up at the door (and volunteers were fed too!). Amazingly there was just the right amount of food! This week we served a meal of homemade chicken pie, potatoes & veg, followed by chocolate bread and butter pudding – all served by smiling volunteers at tables beautifully set by Ackhira…

New data: More than 100 people per day with mental health problems are having their benefits sanctioned

This is a news release by the Methodist Church about a new report to be published by JPIT.  New data released today has revealed that benefits claimants judged as unfit to work due to mental health problems are more likely to have their benefits stopped by sanctions than those suffering from other conditions. Policy advisers for the Methodist Church obtained the data using Freedom of Information Requests to the Department of Work and Pensions. It shows that people who receive…

Shelter Update – Sunday 23rd January

The shelters are almost at capacity at the moment with new guests being welcomed this week. We are also providing meals only to some that just turn up at the door and are pleased that we are in the position to provide a hot meal and some company if only for an hour or two. Please continue to remember the project in your prayers.

Shelter Update – Sunday 17th January

Please continue to pray for the homeless shelter – the guests and the volunteers. The nights are so cold at the moment and we are pleased we can do the little we do to bring some comfort to those without a warm place to sleep. This week we welcomed two new guests into the shelter. One guest has left having secured work and accommodation which we give thanks fo

Shelter Update – January 11th

The shelter here at Bell Road remains open every Thursday night until the end of March and we are so grateful to all those who have volunteered to help in so many ways. We have had some good evenings so far and are getting to know our guests better. The evenings are happy with lots of conversations and often a game or two – even if rules are often disputed! Some of the men have begun to pick up a little work or are…

Faith in Politics

Our faith in politics event took place on Friday 5th December and was a great success with about 45 people there from several different churches and faith groups. The community atmosphere was good, supper appreciated, questions were challenging and answered fairly succinctly (for politicians!) with some good debate between them and John as question master kept them in control! You can download a list of all the questions submitted here. Theses have also been sent to the panellists so they…

Shelter Update

Another good evening at the shelter this week again with almost a ‘full house’. It is good to be getting to know some of a guests a bit better. One guest started a job on Friday which is good news and we pray for success in this and that it may lead to a more settled future. The needs of the men are very varied; all are vulnerable in many different ways. Please keep them in your prayers. Thank you…

Acting for Justice

This post was originally a guest post on the JPIT blog by Naomi. The original can be found here. Bell Road Methodist Church in Hounslow has a long history of social action; each year, members stuff envelopes for a local homelessness charity and join with other churches in the area to help run a homeless shelter during the winter months. But just over a year ago, the church family decided that it wasn’t enough simply to provide food and shelter…