13 December 2018, The Tablet

Topic of the week: New mission for unused churches


I am very grateful for Elena Curti’s article (“Open the doors”, 8 December) on the use of underused or closed churches. I agree they should not be put to commercial use. But Jesus showed us that God is worshipped in many ways, one being “the corporal works of mercy”. This is the use to which our churches can be put to keep them open, and also obtain funding. If Pope Francis can sit down with a few hundred homeless people in a church in Rome for a meal, surely he is showing us the way.

In our big cities there is an urgent need for buildings where the poor, the lonely, the homeless, refugees and the sick can come to be cared for. The NHS needs places for outpatient care to free up hospitals for people with acute illnesses. Isn’t this something our churches could offer?

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