Community of Grace is a Charitable Trust and recognised as a Mission Project within the United Reformed Church.
Community of Grace developed from small, informal efforts to help homeless people in Leicester in the 1960s. Its first organised expression was the daily breakfast for homeless people at the old Congregational Church in Newby Street, which later became Charnwood URC.
The breakfast went on for several years and other projects came out of it including: a soup run, Action Homeless, and Leicester’s first night shelter.
From the earliest work in the 1960s there had been a strong concern for those homeless people who were the most ‘damaged’ and who were the least likely to find accommodation in traditional hostels. That concern was, and remains, at the heart of Community of Grace.
Community of Grace attempts to create and sustain something like home and family (or household and community) with and for men who have long since lost their own home, or even never really had one, and to keep up that attempt with each individual man for as long as he needs.
How we operate
Community of Grace is made up of Fellows and Companions who work together to honour and carry on the work at the community.
The men who come to CoG and settle for a significant period are the Fellows, like Fellows of a College. They come because they need support but they also take part, help and keep Community of Grace alive and effective.
Companions are volunteers who have a vocation to carry the day to day work at Community of Grace and ensure there are the physical and financial resources that are needed. They are called Companions because the word is connected with the Latin for ‘bread’. Companions produce the bread and ensure that it is shared.
David Morris the founder explains it like this:
The words ‘Fellow’ and ‘Companion’ fit together in meaning and in practice. Companions have fellowship with the Fellows: The Fellows are companions to the Companions. Companions and Fellows care for and support one another and also keep Community of Grace alive and caring for new men who need to become part of the community.
Neither the Fellows nor Companions are paid. The community is wholly run by volunteers.
Each Fellow who chooses to stay at Community of Grace’s accommodation works with the Companions to make his own life better and pledges to help others do the same. By ‘better’ we mean better physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually.
Community of Grace is open to all who want to work in this way, regardless their financial situation ie. you do not need to be in receipt of public funds.
Community of Grace is not a hotel, boarding house or a business for customers to use; it is not a hostel or an accommodation provider. It is a community of people who were once homeless and now wish to make Community of Grace their home, whether for a long or short period of time.
How can you help?
Community of Grace are always looking for skilled people who can dedicate time particularly to the woodwork or gardening projects or developing our website. The best thing is to get in touch using the details below and we can arrange to meet up and have a chat.