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He sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing..png

Welcome to
Joel Community Services

Joel Community Services (JCS) is a registered charity that seeks to provide community space and other services for those who don't have homes, who may be refugees, or who are otherwise in need.
It works closely with St Peter's Norbiton, an Anglican church in Kingston.

JCS was originally set up to run a nightshelter project and other services for the homeless in St Peter's Church Hall. Many lives were touched by this fruitful ministry, which was led by Revd Peter Holmes, the previous vicar of St Peter's Norbiton. For a brief period, the space was then used by KCAH (a homelessness charity) for a drug stabilisation project, who then handed back the space to JCS in June 2022. Keen to honour the legacy of Revd Peter Holmes, the JCS trustees entered into a period of prayer and consultation about how best to use this space, known as the Joel Centre, in the service of the vulnerable.

 

A Scripture that was particularly on our minds as we've prayed about the future was this: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6: 9-10)

 

After consulting with a range of stakeholders, it become apparent that in our post-pandemic context meant the Joel Centre is no longer so well suited for the purposes it has served in the past. At the same time, we became aware of other vulnerable groups in need of accommodation where they could be part of a Christian community. 

Adapting to a changing context

The Vision

In particular, we've come to know a number of refugees at St Peter’s – many of whom suffer from trauma, loneliness, and related mental health issues – who would significantly benefit from living in a communal space where they could be shown love and support. One of them recently wrote to the Home Office: “I have not seen my family for many years...I am very depressed…I ask you to help to change my life…the accommodation [where I] live now is not a good place and I do not feel safe and I am suffering from a lot of depression and stress and it is not a good place for me. Please move me to the Kingston area, which is close to my church and provide me with a good home…” It is our hope that this young refugee and others like him would find a degree of healing and liberation in a new home with a warm community, and in turn be able to serve and show hospitality to others.

 In October 2023, we were finally able to welcome four refugees into the Joel Centre. They were already part of the St Peter’s church community, and we had to come to know them over the past two years while their claims were being processed. On being granted their refugee status, they were required to leave their Home Office accommodation, and so would have been at risk of homelessness if we hadn’t been able to offer them a place in this community house. They have fully grasped a vision for hospitality, and it’s been wonderful to see them able to invite people around for meals – for many of them this is the first time they have been able to do so for several years. Although language remains a barrier on these occasions, it’s wonderful to see connections happening anyway, whether through the provision of meals, a simple game of chess, or smiles of welcome and gratitude.
 
To provide a home for refugees, who themselves have a heart for hospitality, has felt like a fulfilment of the Scripture we have been praying over the Joel Centre: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing” (Psalm 68: 5-6).

Grandmother and Granddaughter

DONATE

Partner with us

 

One of the aspects of Joel that has been so important and special is how it has bought different churches together in seeking God’s Kingdom through working with the vulnerable. Our hope is that that will continue to work together in this next phase of life, whether through volunteering, referring refugees, or financially sharing with those in need. For that reason we do hope some of you would consider making this vision possible through giving a one-off or regular donation.

If you would like to support the new vision for the Joel Centre, then I’d encourage you to consider setting up a standing order, praying, or letting us know if you would like to volunteer. If you’d like to build on Peter Holmes’ passion for a holistic way of caring for the vulnerable in a context of a Christian community, then we’d encourage you to be generous, so as to support refugees or others in need who are part of the family of believers.

The bank details for Joel Community Services, if you’d like to join with us in this vision, are:

 

Joel Community Services 

CAF Bank

Sort Code: 40-52-40

A/C: 00025841

 

Alternatively, here is a link to donate online via Paypal: https://www.paypal.com/gb/fundraiser/charity/3229560

 

On behalf of the Joel Trustees I pray God’s blessing upon you, that you would experience his refreshment like streams of living water.

 

 

Yours in Christ

Hugo Foxwood

 

Chair of Joel Community Services  &  Vicar of St Peter’s Norbiton

CONTACT US

Joel Community Services

St Peter's Church

London Road

KT2 6QL

info@joelcommunityservices.org

020 8546 3212

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