Bishop Richard visited a number of projects in the the Toxteth and Wavertree Deanery recently.
Bishop Richard visited a number of projects in the Toxteth and Wavertree Deanery, including Liverpool’s only ‘wet house’ hostel for single men.
The Deanery its churches of St Michaels in the Hamlet and Christ Church provide non judgemental pastoral care to the men – most of whom are entrenched drinkers - and the staff at the hostel, in a variety of ways. All the 34 residents have been homeless, many with addictions and damaged physically, emotionally and spiritually through their life experiences.
The churches provide chaplaincy to the hostel, and its church volunteers enable the men to be supported through prayer, Christian listening and a gardening project funded through the Primary Care Trust.
The churches also offer bereavement support and counselling, support in attending church and becoming a part of the church community, and provision of a starter pack which the men receive on arrival containing basic items of clothing, crockery and toiletries.
The gardening project involves local residents, community groups and partners and has achieved funding of £10,000 to make the garden - which was originally only used for drinking alcohol - a place in which the men can sit and reflect, gain an appreciation of the beauty of God’s creation and grow their own food.
Rev Lyn McIver from said, “To enable the men to engage in the garden project, a number of initiatives have been introduced. This has included counselling, art therapy, meditation and relaxation, a RSPB wildlife watch and gardening.
“The age range at the hostel is from 25-72 years and many talk about their past professions as skilled workers, master joiners, builders, musicians and artists to name a few. Involving them with the garden has helped the men’s self esteem and belief in themselves and others. We are also there to listen and pray with and for the staff, who openly talk about how they value the ministry to themselves and the men.”