Norwich churches offer emergency food and shelter in cold
As the temperature drops this weekend, the City Council, Norwich churches and community volunteers are working together at the former Silver Road Baptist Church to give homeless people in Norwich a safe and warm place to sleep.
On Friday night as icy sleet fell across Norwich the doors of the former Silver Road Baptist Church on Mousehold Avenue were open to rough sleepers as part of the city’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.
Norwich Central Baptist Church, which now has responsibility for the Silver Road Baptist Church building, were approached by volunteers who initiated the response at the Church of St Peter Mancroft a couple of weeks ago. The former Baptist Church is expected to be open for people with nowhere else to sleep for three nights, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 8pm to 8am.
Caroline Kingham, the Single Homeless and Rough Sleeper Coordinator for Norwich City Council, is leading the response which will provide up to 30 camp beds each with a new sleeping bag, bedding and hot drinks. Volunteers from Social Services will also be on site.
Soul Church’s ‘Love into Action’ team are cooking a hot meal each night and are also providing a shuttle bus system to take rough sleepers from the city centre to the North Norwich church.
Rev Mark Fairweather Tall from Norwich Central Baptist Church said: “When there is a need in the community it is really good that groups of people from many walks of life come together to make a difference and do things that none of us would be able to do on our own.”
Caroline Kingham said: “Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who are working really hard to ensure that no one will need to sleep out during the severe weather.”