After an unusually hot summer with record breaking temperatures, the UK is now experiencing a very chilly beginning to the autumn season. The cost of heating homes and buildings is becoming increasingly expensive due to the significant rises in gas and electricity costs and sadly this will affect the most vulnerable in our communities.
It is estimated that one in four people will not be able to afford their new energy bills this autumn and the Warm Welcome Campaign is part of a community response to these statistics and the growing cost of living crisis. The group consists of a number of Christian organisations such as Church Works, Stewardship, Redeeming our Communities, Christians against Poverty and the Salvation Army, working together to help support those who are facing challenges in heating their homes this winter with their mission being to support organisations to open their doors to provide a warm welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter.
Church leaders in Kettering, Northamptonshire recently gathered together to explore the possibility of holding a Winter Warmth Scheme in their town which would create a network of warm community based ‘living rooms’ consisting of halls, churches, community centres etc around the town which would be open at different days and times to ensure that there is maximum coverage for those that may be unable to afford to heat their homes.
The Scheme’s organiser, Adrian Horner, Pastor of Open Door Church, Kettering, commented:
“Many times in scripture we see that God’s people are part of His provision for welfare and supply for the wider community, be it Jesus’ Feeding of at least 5000, Elisha’s part in supplying a widow and thus a community with abundant oil or Joseph’s preparation for storage of grain.
Knowing and stirred by this we have begun to seek to grow and facilitate cross agency connections in Kettering, including churches to explore how we might co-ordinate a town wide provision of warm rooms (including church halls and facilities) as part of our response in the developing cost-of-living crisis.”
To find out more about the Warm Welcome Campaign and how your church or organisation can get involved, please visit www.warmwelcome.uk for more information.