The Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead, London, is an Edwardian Gothic Revival church by the architect J.A. Thomas, built in 1897. After many years of watching the floor sinking significantly, the church took the brave decision to tackle structural repair and at the same time create four new community rooms.
Emmanuel now hosts a winter night shelter for the homeless, Narcotics Anonymous groups, a children’s musical theatre group, yoga, mindfulness and meditation groups, Women’s Institute, community action groups, ward councillors’ surgeries, a community choir, co-working space, baby and toddler activities, an orchestra, a jiu jitsu class, psychotherapy and more.
The Camden Churches C4WS winter night shelter operates each night from the beginning of November to the end of March each year.
Emmanuel, like 13 other churches from a variety of denominations in Camden, takes it in turn to accommodate up to 16 homeless adults a night, providing them with a hot evening meal, a shower, a clean bed, and breakfast the following morning.
Guests are offered a 28-day stay, a dedicated caseworker and support with employment, education, immigration and English language as well as housing applications.
“This is a tangible and practical way of living out our Christian faith for the good of the wider community.”
The Revd Jonathan Kester
Vicar | Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead
Allchurches Trust has supported the project with a grant.