I’m not exactly naïve as to the finances of the church, and having being a regular attender ( though by no means of a high position ) I often find myself wanting to criticise the way the system within the C of E functions.
I must, on this occasion however, come to their defence. The church which I attend, and other local ones, all contribute when possible to the local drop in centre for the homeless ( The Wellspring in Stockport) along with other contributions these churches make on a regular basis to other charities.
The money is, of course, contributed by parishioners, many of whom are already giving time and money to the church and other charities. In contrast, we live in a ‘society’ whereby the richest may elude paying taxes and are worshipped for their ‘success’. We now talk of trillionaires as opposed to millionaires and, even, billionaires.
Yet, somehow, society’s problems always seems to come down the church being at fault.
The church in this country does not automatically get financial help from the government. They have to arrange insurance for property and contents which has restrictions on how the property may be used. You cannot just open the church to the public anyway, without having people who have been checked under the DBS system ( particularly where minors are concerned) to oversee an organised event ( such as sleeping over ). You would also have to enough people to volunteer to do this, and when it comes down to it, church goers will have often as many responsibilities as everyone else. Also, they might not have the expertise to deal with a situation that could arise, unlike those qualified within the homeless shelters.
It may sound harsh, but please, do not keep blaming the church who often run on a small number of volunteers, under criticism from many, so whom have never even bothered to go inside the place. I’m sure your local church will be happy to include you in their local community work/giving if you contact them for a chat. They will even welcome ideas and a commitment of either your time/talents/money to give you a chance to make a difference. If that’s not for you, then that’s fine, and I leave you to make your own contributions in your own way.
On that note, I genuinely wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas.