Words of Light and Hope
8th October 2023
Helena Crockford LLM
This Sunday is Homelessness Sunday, held every year on the
Sunday before World Homeless Day. The theme in 2023 is
“Love and Justice” with churches encouraged to bring our call
for love and justice before God in worship, praying for people
impacted by homelessness and committing to work for justice
A Shakespearean Sonnet About Doors by Ian McMillan
It’s not much to ask. Just a door to lock.
A door that won’t break when someone kicks it.
Door with a keyhole. Respond to that knock
Or not. My choice. It’s broke so let’s fix it:
The world, I mean. Not the door. That’s ok.
It’s my door, to my room. Look: here’s the key.
The world, though. That’s different. Somewhere to stay
Is what we all need. Somewhere to be me
And not just someone you blithely ignore
When you see me sleeping on the street.
Let’s begin with this. A door. Just a door
To start with. A door. Food. Then light and heat.
The world must respond to this simple truth:
Let’s all have a door. Let’s all have a roof
In his book The Nazareth Manifesto, the Rev. Sam Wells, Vicar
of St. Martins in the Fields, with its long-standing mission to
the homeless, describes four styles of engagement with
people in need: working for them, working with them, being
for them and finally being with them. The most empowering
and hardest to enact is being with, which means “experiencing
in one’s own life a fraction of what it is to be in need,
oppressed and/or disempowered”. It means to set aside one’s
strategies for change and instead simply feel the pain and
hardship of another’s situation. It echoes that ‘God is with
This seems to come alive in Steve’s Prayer (Steve is
supported by the Housing Justice Citadel project)
‘Lord I’d like to pray for the homeless and ask that you send
your guardian angels to protect them.
Lord guide them, keep them safe and guide them to where
they need to be, Lord I ask that you send your love to them
so that they know they’re not alone.
Lord pour your mercy on them and be there when they need it
most, when they have insecurities and turn to hard drugs,
Lord I ask that you be in their hearts. Bless them and
show them the right way to go.
I pray for everyone in the B&B’s on the sea front, keep the
vulnerable ones safe and guide them out of their troubles.
Guide them away from using drugs and alcohol and they can
finally find peace Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.’