Vicar to sleep rough and raise cash for homeless

A VICAR plans to sleep rough in his own churchyard next month to highlight the plight of the homeless.

The Rev Graham Thornalley, team vicar of the Howden Church of England Parish of churches, will bed down outside St Michael’s Church In Eastrington on the night of December 6.

He is hoping to raise funds for the charity Shelter and may be joined by some hardy parishioners who have offered their support.

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He said: “Our churches do quite a lot for the homeless in our local communities, sending stuff to the shelter at Hull and foodbanks in Goole and Selby.

“That’s all well and good and makes a real difference but I wanted to do something for Shelter because they lobby Government to get to the root causes of homelessness.”

He added: “I read that this Christmas there will be 80,000 children homeless in the UK and thought I’m going to do something.

“They might not be on the streets, they might be in emergency provision, but if it’s a B&B it’s not very good is it?”

Mr Thornalley said he would use a sleeping bag and would also have a flask and a pocket stove, although he might take shelter in the porch of the church if it rains.

“I want to show people how it really is and how easy it is for us to become homeless,” he added.

The vicar can be supported through St Michael’s and the Just Giving website.