Two Horley churches are preparing to host the East Surrey Winter Night Shelter starting next week.
The three-month project is managed by the Renewed Hope Trust in partnership with churches in the East Surrey, which hosting it on different nights each week.
The shelter launches on December 16 and will be supported by the charity’s drop-in service which will run five days a week compared with the usual weekly provision.
St Bartholomew’s in Church Road is hosting it for the first time this year and Horley Baptist Church are back on the rota after the grand opening of their new building in Court Lodge Road.
Rev Russell Braund, pastor at Horley Baptist Church, said: “We have excellent facilities and we are just looking forward to being in part of the community in this role working with the local churches to support those who are going to find this time of year difficult.
“These are people who really feel it when they are on the streets while everyone else is out enjoying themselves.”
Anna Coe, the venue co-ordinator at St Bartholomew’s Church in Horley, said: “Our sister church St Wilfrid’s has hosted the shelter for the parish in the past few years, but this year we are using Bart’s instead.
“We hope that this will lead to us being able to provide both churches in future years as more of our members take the opportunity to volunteer. We are really looking forward to hosting weekly from the end of January.”
The Renewed Hope Trust works closely with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Tandridge District Council to make sure the people most in need get help during these winter months.
There are ten churches in total hosting and six of those are doing it for the first time.
Project co-ordinator Alice Banks said: “It is really exciting to have ten different venues involved this year, including six new ones. For the first time we have two churches in the Tandridge area hosting the night shelter, which is important considering half of the people we have helped in recent years come from that area.
“This is our yearly expansion of the charity’s mission to welcome anyone in need as a friend and help them realise their potential by just accepting them as they are. For some people who we meet, this is the first time someone has believed in them for a very long time.”
The shelter is staffed by volunteers from the churches and wider community. For more information about the charity and how to support them email Alice on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://rhtes.org/
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