Host our night shelter

Would your church like to do something practical for those who have fallen into homelessness?

Do you have a hall that could provide a safe and friendly overnight home for some of South London’s homeless people?

If you are able to offer a warm and dry space for one night a week during the winter, this could be a truly rewarding experience.

We often hear that taking part in Robes can really bring a congregation together, or help a church create more of a presence in the wider community.

We couldn’t do what we do without help from churches like yours.  Working together, we can help turn lives around.


Join our team of partner churches


Our partner churches are providing night shelters at two venues every night from November to April. We give thirty five people a warm bed each night of the winter.


Over the last two years around thirty churches – of all denominations – have put their faith into action by hosting our shelter, and we are looking for more. You can see the full list of our recent hosts below or click on the graphic to see the 2015/16 circuit:


  • Ace of Clubs, Clapham
  • All Saints, Clapham Park
  • Bermondsey Central HallHosts
  • Christ Church, Blackfriars
  • Copleston Centre, Peckham
  • Crossway URC
  • Finnish Church, Rotherhithe
  • Haddon Hall
  • Holy Spirit, Clapham
  • Lambeth Mission, North Lambeth
  • Mostyn Road Methodist Church
  • Norwegian Church, Rotherhithe
  • Salvation Army, Elephant and Castle
  • St George the Martyr, Borough
  • St John the Divine, Kennington
  • St John the Evangelist, East Dulwich
  • St John’s, Waterloo
  • St Luke’s, West Norwood
  • St Mark’s, Kennington
  • St Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey
  • St Mary’s, Newington
  • St Matthew’s, Brixton
  • St Matthew’s-at-the-Elephant
  • St Michael’s, Stockwell
  • St Paul’s, Clapham
  • St Peter’s, Vauxhall
  • St Peter’s, Walworth
  • St Philip’s, Camberwell
  • The Well Community Church, Camberwell
  • Walworth Methodist


David Vyvyan“It was wonderful to be able to build these links”


St Philip’s in Camberwell joined us for the winter of 2015-16:


“Once it became known what we were doing we had offers of help from across the community.  Many of our volunteers were not members of the church and it was wonderful to be able to build these links.  Those who volunteered said how sad they were when the shelter closed in the spring.  We are already looking forward to reopening our doors to the guests this winter.”


Reverend David Vyvyan, St Philip’s, Camberwell

read more about his experience here


How you can help


We will support you in running your space as a shelter on your night of the week.   Your volunteers and guests will come together at dinner time, breaking bread and sharing cheer, as a family for the evening.


Members of your church will be able to participate as:


  • Your team leader, who will be your key contact with us
  • A leader for each shift, who will help keep your shelter running smoothly
  • Shelter volunteers, who will help out in the morning and evening
  • And, if needed, we usually have extra volunteers on hand


‘How exciting to see so many churches, communities, corporate companies and individuals coming together to “love our neighbours as ourselves” to support those within our community who are marginalised.’

Robes volunteer


ChurchesThe practicalities


Hosting homeless people brings both challenges and rewards.  We will provide lots of training and support to help you;


  • Open your doors for one night a week
  • From at least 7pm-8am
  • Cook and serve dinner and breakfast to your guests (we may be able to provide some ingredients and funding if needed)
  • Generally for 8 of the winter weeks
  • Store our bedding during those weeks


What do you think?  If you’re keen to help but there’s something you’re feeling a bit daunted by, we can normally find a solution, so do get in touch.


“Not just about serving guests, but about welcoming friends”


Our volunteers so often realise that when they set out to give, what they themselves receive is very blessed:


“I volunteer for Robes by cooking for the guests at Peckham Methodist Church… Every time I cook I feel stressed by the extra demand on my time, but each time I see how much they appreciate the food and the camaraderie they share I know it’s really worth it.


My favourite part of volunteering is getting to know the guests and sharing a laugh and a joke with them.   It’s not just about serving guests but about welcoming friends.”


Robes volunteer – read more about their experience here


Get involved


Just get in touch to start the ball rolling.
We look forward to working with you.



Image credit: Alexandra Coyle

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