The Garden People
The Garden People
The Great Feast
Christmas at The Great Feast
The Night Shelter
Upstairs Under Construction
In the Spring of 2008, a local Alcohol and Drugs Homeless project relocated outside of the borough, with nowhere else to go an increasing amount of people started gathering in the gardens. around St Peter's Church. There were soon over 40 regulars, we named them The Garden people. Peter Holmes, our founder and Joel Community Services chairman, eventually opened up St Peter's doors every wednesday to provide meals and support to The Garden People. We worked with local invidividuals, businesses and charities to deliver this service.
After working with The Garden People, Peter Holmes came up with the idea of a permanent monastic-style community for single homeless people at St Peter's Church. From 2009 the church hall was used as a Winter Night Shelter. The Joel Community Trust, now known as Joel Community Services, was set up in 2010 to raise money for a permanent night shelter for people experiencing homelessness, a purpose built accommodation for Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness and suppported move on accommodation all on the site of St Peter's Church, Norbiton.
Why are we named after the prophet Joel? In the book of Joel we read that a locust plague and draught had ravaged the land. When Joel warned them about even worse disasters coming, they turned their lives around. God promised to 'restore the years the locusts have eaten'.
23 Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
25“I will restore the years the locusts have eaten—
The Christian Church has had a long history of offering hospitality and providing occupation for homeless people and this is exactly what we would like to do! We intend to provide our guests with a safe, warm place of healing and restoration.
This website was manually updated on
2nd October 2017