Royston and Barley churchgoers to take on 12-hour sleepout challenge for homelessness cause

PUBLISHED: 16:55 30 November 2017

Sophia Wrangham and Sarah Dingley are taking part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge 2017. Picture: Sophia Wrangham/Sarah Dingley.

Sophia Wrangham and Sarah Dingley are taking part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge 2017. Picture: Sophia Wrangham/Sarah Dingley.

Archant

A Royston mum-of-three has joined up with a Barley churchgoer and others to take part in a charity sleepout night to raise cash for beds and support for homeless people.

Sophia Wrangham and Sarah Dingley are taking part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge 2017. Picture: Sophia Wrangham/Sarah Dingley. Sophia Wrangham and Sarah Dingley are taking part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge 2017. Picture: Sophia Wrangham/Sarah Dingley.

A Royston mum-of-three has joined up with a Barley churchgoer and others to take part in a charity sleepout night to raise cash for beds and support for homeless people.

Sarah Dingley linked up with Sophia Wrangham from the Church of St Margaret of Antioch through Royston’s Churches Together group for The Advent Sleepout Challenge 2017.

The initiative, by the Church Urban Fund, is in its third year and sees people up and down the country get sponsored to transform a space into an ‘Advent stable’ and sleep out for the night.

Former Royston town mayor Mrs Dingley told the Crow: “Through the magic of social media I saw several messages about the sleepout and mentioned the challenge to Churches Together. Sophia Wrangham picked up the ball and ran with it, she was great.

“I wanted to do this because it’s getting so cold now, and being homeless can happen to anyone.

“We owe it to each other to give as much support as we can.

“You’ve got to be cold not to think of people out in the cold at any time of year – even more so at Christmas.”

The pair will be spending 12 hours in the porch of the church on the evening of Friday, December 8, from 8pm to 8am the next day.

Mrs Wrangham, who is I am secretary to the Parochial Church Council, said: “I’ve worked with the homeless at several points in my life, with homeless families in London, and with the North Herts Winter Sanctuary, now in Hitchin.

“I am very aware of just how hard it is to get out of being homeless. Your life is so difficult, you have to work to find food or on how you’ll wash your clothes, it’s all very squalid, and nobody will help you. The awful thing is even when you have somewhere, you can struggle to adapt.

“There’s never much time around Christmas – which of course starts in early November – but as we said at the meeting, the homeless don’t do much preparing, and we could just make do as they have to.

The pair have had lots of support from rector, Canon Ruth Pyke, who has said the church will be open all night, with a kettle and biscuits if anyone is desperate.

Mrs Wrangham added: “We will be outside with sleeping bags and cardboard boxes hoping to get some sleep, experience what it’s like being without a roof for ourselves, and perhaps raise a bit of money.”

To donate go to sleepoutchallenge2017.everydayhero.com/uk/the-12-hour-homeless.

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