A shelter in the storm

When there is nowhere else to turn, people come to St Martin’s. A pandemic and closed doors would not stop us helping where we could.

At St Martin’s, this help came in the form of hundreds of hot meals for people with nowhere else to go. Revd Richard Carter, Associate Vicar for Mission, described his mission

Our greatest strength as a church is that we belong to the community, we dwell in it. We can’t go home – because this is our home. Global poverty is actually sleeping on my doorstep tonight.”

The people who make up the Sunday International Group are migrants, refugees and foreign nationals facing destitution in London, many with no recourse to public funds. At the start of the pandemic, this status meant that they did not qualify for support under the government ‘Everybody In’ policy.

But St Martin’s was there, offering a meal and helping people into temporary accommodation, where they could isolate and find a place of relative stability.

One SIG member, was able to move into Home Office arranged accommodation in Camden and comes back to St Martin’s now as part of the congregation. Another passed the final module in his MSc in International Development Management, despite having none of the support available to other students with dyslexia, due to his ‘no recourse to public funds’ status.

Another member described how St Martin’s made a difference, “I am eternally grateful to St Martin’s … My light in the darkness. My shelter in the storm.”

As we move into this third lockdown, your support is helping supply warm down coats and sleeping bags for rough sleepers.