The Charter for Christian Homelessness Agencies
West London Mission is a signatory to the The Charter for Christian Homelessness Agencies.
Our Executive Director for Social Work, Jon Kuhrt, was one of the authors of the Charter which has now been signed by many Christian organisations.
The Charter emerged from the Christian Homeless Forum which is part of Housing Justice and is made up of Christians and people representing church groups. It emerged from discussions around how best to represent Christian ethos, especially to those outside the church or who are suspicious or concerned about how a Christian basis to an organisation’s work expresses itself.
The Charter seeks to pull together some of the discussions that have long gone on within Christian organisations around the integration of authentic Christian faith with a high standard of support. Its aim is to articulate the integration between excellence in terms of the support offered to homeless people and a confident practical expression of Christian spirituality.
The charter could be used to answer questions around how faith is expressed within the service which often come from funders, statutory agencies and other partners.
It could be used as a way of expressing how faith should be handled, both externally and internally and can be used as a guideline for staff.
The hope, mainly, is that it will help churches and Christian organisations to be confident in the relevance of their Christian ethos to the work that they are doing and help them articulate and express this to external bodies who might not understand the Christian faith on which their work is rooted.
It is also hoped that it will be a focus for unity among churches and Christian groups of different traditions and emphases. There is a great deal of common ground that emerges when people put their faith into action alongside those who are marginalised and it is hoped that this charter might be helpful to build further unity within Christian efforts to serve and advocate for those affected by homelessness.