“I am in awe at the perseverance of generous Christians, church and charity leaders and those at the frontline of gospel ministry in holding out their hands in fellowship to those in great need.” – Stewart McCulloch, Stewardship CEO
The cost of living crisis is expected to put 16.4 million people in fuel poverty in the next few months, with many forced to choose between food and warmth. Community organisations across the UK have already seen a soar in demand for their services and anticipate this number to further rise over the winter months, with many people expected to look for their support for the first time.
In his article, 'Millions of Warm Welcomes Needed' in our most recent edition of Share magazine, Russel Rook of The ChurchWorks Commission, notes that 'There is a clear biblical call for churches to respond and bring light and life to those suffering, meeting both their physical and spiritual needs.'
To help those most affected, we have been working with our friends at the Good Faith Foundation to help launch the ‘Warm Welcome’ initiative. This movement was created by a coalition of charities that are now inviting churches and community organisations to open their doors to provide a Warm Welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter.
Over the years, we’ve been blessed to witness the incredible efforts of the Christian community in times of crisis. As we face the realisation that even more economic and societal challenges lie ahead, we’re encouraged by the character of the Church, and the light that it shines so brightly in times of darkness.
Here's how you can get involved:
1. Register your Warm Welcome space today.
Over 1,600 registered organisations have already pledged and opened, or are preparing to open up as a free, warm, welcoming space for the public over this winter across the UK. If your church or community space are able to share your space - even for a few hours a week - you can register to join the movement online.
We’ve prepared a Warm Welcome Fundraising Toolkit and accompanying resources to help you wisely and successfully fundraise for your Warm Welcome space.
2. Connect with Warm Welcome spaces in your area directly.
Warm Welcome have created a helpful map that allows you to locate and find out more about the Warm Welcome spaces in your area. You are welcome to get in touch with individual spaces via the contact information on their websites if you’d like to extend your support in skills, time or prayer.
3. Give directly to help Warm Welcome spaces to cover their costs.
Many of our church and charity partners registered with Stewardship are fundraising to cover their costs. You can explore the list of spaces to support here. Alternatively, you can give to the central Warm Welcome fund, managed by the Good Faith Foundation.
If you’d like to give more generally to the crisis response, you can give one-off or regularly with a Stewardship Giving Account to our Cost of Living Response Fund.