SoundCafe officially welcomed into the Diocese of Leicester


 

Cake, balloons, songs and a special new status were all part of a Celebration Service for SoundCafe, the pioneering Leicester charity which welcomes people who find themselves without a home or socially isolated.

Watch our video explaining why SoundCafe hopes to raise money by clicking here.  (to generate on-screen captions, click the CC icon on the bottom right of the screen when you arrive at the YouTube film).

 

Now in its fifth year, SoundCafe has now been granted a Bishop’s Mission Order meaning that it’s recognised as part of the ‘big family’ that is the Church of England in Diocese of Leicester.

 

 

You can read all about SoundCafe’s work here: https://soundcafe.org.uk/

It runs free weekly sessions at St Martins House, next to the Cathedral in Leicester, where guests can enjoy hospitality, friendship, support and a variety of creative activities from singing to composing poetry and art.

 

In giving the Bishop’s Mission Order, the Bishop of Leicester endorsed and authorised SoundCafe Leicester (SCL) as a distinctive Christian community joining in with the mission of the local Church.

 

It aims to provide a safe creative space for adults who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, vulnerable or socially isolated as a consequence of their living arrangements.

 

It also helps to promote feelings of well-being, confidence and self-esteem by enabling SoundCafe guests to take part in activities such as singing together, poetry, crafts, drawing and painting.

 

Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, said: “I have been a patron of SoundCafe since my arrival in Leicester and so I have seen first-hand the wonderful spirit of friendship and encouragement.

 

“I am now granting them a Bishop’s Mission Order in recognition of their Christian values of hospitality and welcome, and with the prayer that they will grow as a Christian community. We don’t yet know all that this will involve but we are truly blessed to have such a community in the Diocese.”

 

As he signed the Mission Order along with Chair of SCL Trustees Mrs Roz Burch, Bishop Martyn told guests: “This is a bit like adopting SoundCafe into the very big family that is the Diocese of Leicester, with our 324 churches, lots of schools and our work in prisons and hospitals. SoundCafe is welcomed into our family.”

 

 

SoundCafe Chaplain, the Revd Helen Hayes who started the charity with fellow Trustees five years ago, is delighted and said: “Having a Bishop’s Mission Order gives us real recognition and encouragement in our work as part of the Church’s mission. Our aim is to empower our guests to find ‘their voice’ and thereby redefine who they are and shape their journey of rebuilding their lives.”

 

 

Helen added: “Thank you to all our volunteers for their continued amazing support and to St Martins House which lets us use their rooms every week, and to John, who is going to cut the birthday cake.  John is 61 now and he has experienced homelessness since he was 14-years-old. Without him, we wouldn’t have SoundCafe at all because I wouldn’t have got to know him and all the issues of homelessness which led to the charity being set up back in 2014.”

 

The SoundCafe Choir sang Lean on Me and You Raise Me Up among other songs.

 

Staff from the Diocese, Cathedral and St Martins House Conference Centre present at the celebration all declared with the SoundCafe volunteers and guests:

 

We have decided even when there is uncertainty

always to trust, we choose to live in fellowship with each other. We choose to give and take, making way for each other in love and tolerance.

We will trust in the darkness and know that our times are in God’s hand.
We will believe for the future, chapter by chapter,

until all the story is written.

 

Bishop Martyn’s prayers included:

SoundCafe may the love, the safety and the creativity of God enfold you, give light to you, and bring inspiration to you.

 

When all feels lost, may you know your home in God. When all is struggle or unrest, may you know your home in God. On the path that is before you, may you have companions for the journey, may you find and know the love of God; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

 

St Martins House Conference Centre provided a special cake for SoundCafe, decorated with the charity’s name and logo.




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