“No-one eligible is ever turned away for want of means”
You won’t see them on the street, sitting down facing the door of a fast food restaurant, huddled in a dark doorway or down on the pavement in front of a busy shop, but there are very poor elderly people, too, who no longer have the means to properly support themselves. And among them are elderly Clergy.
We are proud that no-one has ever been turned away from the College because of a lack of means. We are proud of the work we have carried out over the past 120 years to help relieve Clerical poverty, to provide shelter, warmth, sustenance and care for the poor, the sick and the vulnerable. It was why we were established.
But our pride is tinged with the sadness and regret of having to still be here, 120 years down the line. We are still here because the need never completely went away, and now Clerical poverty is back. Back with a vengeance. Determined to blight the twilight years of people whose devotion and commitment to others during their working lives has cost them comfort and ease in their retirement.
Without the College of St. Barnabas, these dedicated community servants, forced to scrape by on a few £s a week, with no property of their own and inadequate or non-existent pension provision, might well be living alone in substandard accommodation, or blocking a bed on an NHS ward. For them, the College is the provider of last resort. For them, there is nowhere else to go. Nowhere else they can be.
120 years ago, it would have been the workhouse for them, and of course it was. Finding elderly Clergy in the Workhouse spurred our founder on to establish the College. So that poor and elderly Clergy didn’t have to end up that way.
The workhouses have gone, but poverty hasn’t. That is precisely why the College of St. Barnabas is still here, looking after some of the frailest, poorest and most vulnerable members of the Anglican community.
They need your help, and will continue to need help for as long as Clerical poverty remains an issue.
Please do read the letter from Rowan Williams by clicking here, and watch his video, in the next news article.