Christian leaders, including the archbishops of Canterbury and York, have joined multi-faith heads to serve lunch to homeless people in a bid to encourage more volunteering over the Coronation weekend.
The Big Help Out, an initiative that aims to see people make positive contributions to their communities, is set to take place on the Bank Holiday Monday, May 8th.
Now, faith leaders are backing the calls for volunteers by leading by example.
Leaders from various religions, including Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and Bahá’í, came together to serve food and sort clothes for clients at The Passage, a homelessness charity in London.
Most Rev Justin Welby, Most Rev Stephen Cottrell and Cardinal Vincent Nichols joined the Archbishop of Wales, Most Rev Andrew John, the General Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Right Rev Ian Greenshields and the Most Rev John McDowell, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
The group also included Dr Nicola Brady, the General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Bishop Mike Royal, the General Secretary of Churches Together in England, and the deans of Britain’s biggest cathedrals.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward, also made an appearance.
Most Rev Justin Welby said: “During the Coronation, His Majesty the King will be anointed to serve others, and we’ll be giving thanks for the King’s example of service.
“That’s why helping others is a key theme of the Coronation weekend – and why I’m so delighted to support the Big Help Out.
“As we celebrate the Coronation, I joyfully encourage everyone to help out in all kinds of creative ways. I pray we take this opportunity to come together, support those around us and unite our communities. Let’s build a legacy of love for one another.”
Mick Clarke, chief executive of The Passage, said: “The Passage was thrilled to welcome a diverse cross-section of faith leaders to The Passage as part of the Big Help Out, which we hope will inspire many people to make a real difference to the local community and get involved in the wide range of volunteering opportunities that are available across the UK.
“Homelessness is a societal issue and needs a societal solution. At The Passage we saw (during the covid-19 pandemic) what can be achieved when society pulls together.
“We hope the Big Help Out acts as a springboard for more people to volunteer their time for causes they are passionate about supporting.
“The Passage has an urgent need for more volunteers to support our work, and we hope many people will be inspired to get involved volunteering in our work.”