Diocesan Director of Development to join Sponsored Sleepout – Walsingham House at Abbotswick
Homelessness and the Housing Crisis are concerns close to Steven’s heart. As well as being Director of Development for our diocese and co-lead (with Fr Dominic) in our Caritas Diocese of Brentwood, Steven Webb serves as a trustee for www.csan.org.uk and knows how serious this matter has become.
The sponsored sleepout on Friday 12th April is supporting young people & homeless people in our diocese. Since November hundreds of people in Essex and East London have found warmth, food and shelter in church halls and other projects supported by our diocese. Steven is keen to recognise and support the work of countless parishioners who support and accompany homeless people.
Steven comments: “It’s still completely unacceptable that thousands of people are having to sleep rough every night in one of the world’s richest countries and in our diocese the problem should concern every single one of us.”
Our diocesan Caritas does not just work in isolation and at national level we are a part of CSAN which has been working hard with the Bishop’s of England and Wales to formulate a strategic approach to these issues.
At their plenary meeting from 12-15 November 2018, the bishops agreed on the following resolution:
‘The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales received and noted the report from CSAN on the “Housing Crisis” and recognised the need in society for the availability of housing. We encourage Catholic charities and associated institutions to make this work a priority until 2030. This timescale aligns with international engagement by the Catholic Church and her official agencies on the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2016-30.’
Abide in Me
In the Houses of Parliament on 20 November 2018, Rt. Rev. Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough and Chair of CSAN, launched our report, Abide in Me. In parallel, we published a set of housing case studies, with actions and options for new and renewed lay social action that are realistic in our context. CSAN has also identified significant scope for long-term advocacy in relation to housing, planning and land law, drawing on Catholic social thought.
The full report can be read here (pdf, 2mb), and the accompanying set of case studies is available here (pdf, 0.3mb).
Bishop Drainey’s speech is published here, and Canon Ritchie’s speech is here.