This is one of the 'Prayer and Planning' events being organised by Christian Action Bristol – the Christian part of Faith Action Bristol.
The plan is that concerned people get together to share what they know, to pray about the issue, and to consider what they (and the churches and organisations they belong to) can do about it. We also make time for a general sharing of news, concerns and prayer requests.
Following on from the two meetings about refugees and asylum seekers, we will focus this time on housing and homelessness.
We are doing this partly because this is one of the big questions aised when we talk about refugees and asylum seekers coming to Bristol (Where will they live?); and partly because housing and homelessness are two of the biggest ongoing issues we face, even without the added dimension of new people arriving in the form of refugees and asylum seekers.
We know there is a housing problem in Bristol, so we are seeking to understand three key questions.
We have invited representatives from the Council and other groups working in the field of housing and honelessness to share what they know, what the major challenges are and what can be done to address the problem.
We have put together a framework document, to provide a starting point for understanding and addressing the problem. If you can provide some content for this document, can suggest other questions to address, or have a better framework to offer, please let us know!
As before, we believe that the churches are a massive potential resource; but that potential will only be realised if the people in the churches see a practical contribution they can make, and believe they can be part of achieving something worthwhile. This will require cooperation from both frontline projects and church leaders.
Please come to City Road Baptist Church at 12.30 pm on Wednesday 20 January – come along to help us find ways to help the people who need somewhere (or somewhere adequate) to live, wherever they come from, or just come to be better informed.
We will be providing hot drinks and sandwiches, so please register to let us know if you plan to be with us. The event will be free, but we would be grateful if you were able to make a contribution towards the food and the cost of organising these events.
We will plan the precise timetable for the event when we have a clearer idea of who is going to be present. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Paul.
We have invited representatives from various groups working in the field of housing and honelessness in Bristol. If this applies to you and you have not been invited, we apologise: please accept this as your invitation. Please get in touch.
Just to be clear: we are not too interested in the faith basis (or lack of it!) of the organisations doing the work – we are more interested in the work being done and how to support it being done well. We don't mind what you believe or don't believe; you will not be expected to join in the prayer part of the event, but you are welcome to do so if you choose; and in any case, we hope you will not mind if we pray for you as one part of our response.
If you are working in this area, please read and respond to the framework paper; if you can join us on the day, please sign up so we know you are coming, and let us have some details beforehand so we can collate and circulate the details on the day.
If you have any other ideas or suggestions, do let us know.