Tag Archives: Bishop of Sherborne

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Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water*
Our patron, The Right Reverend Karen Gorham, successfully completed this 24k walk across 16 iconic London bridges in September, raising £1260 for Routes to Roots. “As Bishop of Sherborne in Dorset with an area of oversight which covers Poole I am proud to be Patron of Routes to Roots – a fantastic homeless charity making a real difference to the lives of those who find themselves homeless.
“Over the course of the day we walked into London ending at Southwark Bridge. Each bridge crossing reminded us of the bridges which need to be crossed to bring dignity and hope to the homeless.”

* Simon & Garfunkel
…When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down…

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At Poole’s annual Homeless Sunday Service on Sunday, 4 February, the Right Reverend Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne and Patron of Routes to Roots, expressed outrage at the introduction of the full PSPO, in particular the provision which prevents any homeless person from finding somewhere to sleep before midnight. Bishop Karen talked of how devastating, dangerous and isolating it is to be homeless: one in three homeless people will be a victim of violence and they have an average lifespan of just 47. The Revd Pat Southgate, chair of R2R, told the large congregation that Poole Council should be ashamed that it allows people who are ill and need care to be out at night and unable to bed down, even in a cold, damp and smelly car park, until after midnight.
On 1 February, despite opposition from all those involved in helping the homeless, Poole’s Public Spaces Protection Order came into effect. Poole Council refused to publish the results of the consultation before enacting the order and the policy has been implemented without being discussed at committee but following a decision by a delegated officer.

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We were delighted to welcome nearly 80 people to our service at which Bishop Karen Gorman spoke movingly on the increasing problem of homelessness. She recalled how back in the 70s the vision was to eradicate homelessness but with changes in Government policy from the 80s this was still a dream. Bishop Karen spoke of the wonderful work being done in Poole through projects such as Routes to Roots and thanked all the volunteers for the work that they do as if we all did not do the work of Christ who would. The Bishop also spoke of the importance of speaking out and drawing the attention of decision makers to what things are like on the streets of Poole.

P8 HomelessSunday

During the service Kate, one of our Trustees, updated everyone on what is happening at Amos House, our supported accommodation for three former rough sleepers. It is just about a year since they moved in and things are going well.
You can download her report with comments from two of the guys here:
Amos House Update 2017

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Routes to Roots’ Trustees, volunteers and clients were delighted to welcome the Ven. Karen Gorham, Bishop Designate of Sherborne, at their drop-in on Thursday. Karen came to Poole specifically to meet them on the very day her appointment was announced by Number 10. This was a tremendous honour.
At the drop-in, among others, she met Steve, who spent five years sleeping on the streets before being helped into living independently by the charity – he has now lived in his own home for three years. She also met Eddie and Susan, volunteers who have cooked Christmas lunch for the clients every year for the past eight years.
Karen was also taken to Amos House, the charity’s new supported accommodation for three rough sleepers. She blessed the house, which will have its first occupants in a matter of days as final paperwork is completed.
Revd. Pat Southgate, chairman of Routes to Roots, said: “This was a wonderful day for all of us and we were really happy to be able to keep our drop-in open all afternoon for the clients. Before she left, Karen gave me an envelope, which I was delighted to find contained her completed Routes to Roots’ membership form and fee. She has also agreed to become a Patron. We look forward to seeing more of her as she settles into her new responsibilities.”
Karen’s consecration will take place on 24 February 2016 at Westminster Abbey before she joins the Diocese formally in March.