5 steps to open your eyes to homelessness


Carlisle Cathedral has stepped up to take part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge 2017!

There were nine girls who took part in the Sleepout Challenge in Carlisle. Together with the Canon Missioner, Michael Manley and Trinity School Chaplain, Revd Caroline Kennedy, these girls took 5 steps to open their eyes to what it means to be homeless.

  1. Get the right kit

Each of the girls was given a light up arm band and hand warmers. Just something simple to give an idea of how small things can make a big difference

1. What’s in your treasure chest?

Each of the girls was given a wooden treasure chest and asked a simple question: when you have no home you have to choose which belongings to keep with you. What would you take with you?

2. Some on-screen education

The next step for these intrepid girls was to watch a few YouTube videos to get a sense of what homelessness can really be like. You can check out some examples on our YouTube page (link)

3. Some-off screen education

The next step was one of the most challenging for the girls. This was their midnight tour of Carlisle City Centre with two street pastors, David and Kathy Howe. The Howe’s taught the girls about the night scene in the city and introduced them to some of the city policing team.

4. Sleep out!

Right at the end of their busy night, the girls bedded down and got some sleep in the Priors Tower at Carlisle Cathedral. A little taster of what it’s like trying to sleep on the streets.

Of course, this is only a little insight into the experience of homelessness, but for these girls it was a start. To reward their great work, the girls were lucky enough to receive a copy of the Gospels that had been signed by Archbishop Sentamu and a full Cumbrian/English breakfast. We haven’t asked which they preferred.

NewsMatt Hollidge