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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Church homeless charities plan merger
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 Two of the main church-based homelessness charities in the UK have decided to merge. CHAS, the Catholic Housing Aid Society, and CNHC, the Churches National Housing Coalition, have agreed they could work better together, and will be consulting stakeholders and supporters on the proposal over the next few months. In a statement they said: "The idea behind the merger is to create a strong, united church voice on housing and homelessness issues. Britain is far from meeting the basic human need of decent housing for all, and there is a clear part for churches to play in seeking to meet this aim. A single organisation would best represent the churches' concerns to decision-makers, and provide a more comprehensive service by the churches to people who are homeless or poorly housed." The announcement comes at a time of much discussion over the large number of homelessness charities, and the effectiveness of having so many. This step by CHAS and CNHC seeks to take affirmative action - giving a clearer focus to our policy and campaigning work, and creating a louder church voice on housing and homelessness issues. Patron of CHAS, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, warmly welcomed the proposal, saying: "The Catholic Housing Aid Society has for over 40 years been at the forefront of the Catholic Church's efforts in this country to help tackle and prevent homelessness. In this time, I know it has made a lasting difference to many people's lives. "I therefore see CHAS's proposed merger with the Churches' National Housing Coalition as an exciting ecumenical venture which will allow the knowledge and vast experience of the past to be used to ensure there remains a strong Christian voice ready to speak out on behalf of those who, through no fault of their own, have no permanent residence." The President of CNHC, the Bishop of Guildford, Rt. Revd. John Gladwin, commented: "I am delighted to support the proposed merger of CHAS and CNHC. We have worked so closely over the many years that this is exactly the right thing to do." CHAS and CNHC are appealing for views on the proposed merger, and areas of work on which the new organisation might focus.
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