Warming up the homeless in Rye Harbour


The Church of the Holy Spirit in Rye Harbour has a service on the third Sunday of each month. Linda Estrada leads the service with the Bruces assisting. We have been running these services with a theme for over three years now; they are really popular and encourage more people to come and be part of the community at the Harbour church.

January had been so bitterly cold and miserable that it was decided to dedicate the service to warming up the homeless. The villagers and those in Rye were asked to donate warm clothing and this year the charity requested hand-warmers which could be purchased on the internet to help prevent frostbite. The congregation did not disappoint. People arrived armed with bags and boxes and soon the table and floor were filled to overflowing.

The charity Warming Up the Homeless in Bexhill does an amazing job. It aims to improve the individual’s welfare through emotional support, even if it is just a smile, or by sign-posting other services that may be helpful, as well as providing practical support with clothing and food.

donations for Warming Up the Homeless

There were readings from the Bible and hymns and voluntaries played by Martin Bruce. The poem below was read at the end of the service and as people left they said it had brought tears to their eyes and made them realise just how lucky we all were.

A Shakespearean sonnet about doors
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.

Ian McMillan

We found ourselves asking the question, “Is it so much to wish for a door?”
Two volunteers from the outreach side of the charity came to collect the donations and were bowled over with the sheer volume. So a big “Thank you” to all those who gave so generously because it will make such a difference to the lives of the many people who find themselves homeless.

Warming Up the Homeless Service

Image Credits: Kt bruce .

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