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UK News

Rise in the number of church warm spaces used as temperatures plummet

by Alex Collett

The manager of the Warm Welcome campaign has said he has seen a rise in the number of warm spaces being used, as temperatures drop to artic levels across the country. 

The organisation includes huge numbers of faith groups, churches and charities helping people to keep warm this winter.

With the cost of living crisis, many people have been looking to warm spaces to help them, if they are struggling to heat their homes. 

Manager of Warm Welcome Campaign, David Barclay said: "We have had a bit of a rise over the last couple of weeks, in terms of the number of people that we think are using warm welcome spaces.
He continued: "I think, the impact of the cold weather and the extent to which that has driven the overall numbers up certainly, anecdotally, it sounds like there are more people now looking for spaces, we've seen traffic coming to our website increasing, more people looking on the map for where their local warm welcome space might be. 

"So all the of those indications suggest that there probably are increased numbers now."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rt Rev Justin Welby is one of many backing the Warm Welcome campaign. 
Most Rt Rev Welby has urged people not to despair in the face of "real hardship and pain".

The Warm Welcome group has over 5000 local organisations registered with them and Mr Barclay is encouraging people not to feel ashamed if they need the support, he shared his thoughts for prayer: 

"In terms of prayer, we are having lots of conversations about stigma, and people feeling maybe nervous about going into community spaces, maybe they haven't been into a church building or another community building before. 

"I think praying on both sides, that people would be able to overcome that and that they would find that kind of warmth and connection that they might be in need of,

"Also for real wisdom and creativity for local spaces to know how to talk about their space, how to make it inviting for people, how to get the word out there to the people that might really need to hear. I think that does require a huge amount of wisdom and creativity."

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