Churches in Corby are working together to support each other and reach more people in the community.
The Nightlight winter homeless shelter, supported by Churches Together in Corby and District, was based at the Epiphany Church but potential new premises have now been made available so the work offered by both projects can continue.
It comes as the Rev Paul Frost, priest of the Epiphany and St John’s churches, has stood down from his role as chairman of Churches Together to concentrate on the work at the Epiphany, known as The Chapel Gym.
Rev Frost said: “This move gives me the opportunity to devote more time to the important work happening at the Epiphany, which has already given a great sense of purpose and direction to many young people.
“We look forward to partnering with organisations such as Substance to Solutions and MIND, to provide positive activities and informal mentoring for those with addiction issues, those with mental health problems, and ex-prisoners, all of whom are among the people most likely to end up homeless.
“Our aim is to help these people before they get to the stage where they have to resort to Nightlight.”
And he added: “The rate we charged Nightlight meant it simply covered our costs, although we were happy to do this as we fully support their work.”
The Nightlight shelter would like a hall of its own and had planned to leave the Epiphany Church at some stage.
But until permanent premises are found, Father Anthony Searle from the St Peter and St Andrew Church in Beanfield Avenue has provisionally offered his church hall for use by Nightlight.
Father Anthony said: “Subject to further discussions, we would be happy to host Nightlight at St Peter and St Andrew.
“We value our outreach to the community and have been looking for further ways to serve the people of Corby.
“We are already one of the collection points for Corby foodbank, so working with Nightlight would complement this well.”
The acting chairman of Churches Together in Corby and District, Cllr Anthony Dady, said: “Churches in Corby are united in working together for the benefit of our community.
“Hundreds of church members, nearly all unpaid, have made a positive difference to the lives of thousands of people in the area.” They have helped through activities including Nightlight, Corby foodbank which provides emergency food parcels to those in severe financial difficulty, Corby Street Pastors which helps people out in the town centre and Old Village on a Saturday night, Celebrate Recovery which helps people with financial problems, such as gambling, youth chaplains who operate at school gates at the end of the school day to reduce bullying and anti-social behaviour, and the CAP Project which offers debt counselling.
And Cllr Dady added: “Many of these projects are regularly endorsed by Corby Borough Council and Northamptonshire Police.
“To find out more, come and see us at the Willow Place shopping centre at 1pm this coming Friday (April 14) as we conduct our annual Good Friday celebrations.
“I am pleased to see that the St Peter & St Andrew Church has, in principle, offered to host the Nightlight shelter, so this good work can continue.
“Once again, churches have clubbed together for the benefit of the people of Corby.”