East London homeless charity holds sponsored Sleep-In in Spitalfields church crypt

On Friday 6 November, local homeless and addictions charity Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), will be hosting a fundraising event on the night of their 50th birthday at Christ Church Spitalfields, where the charity was founded in 1965.

The event aims to help meet the charity’s target of raising an extra £50,000 this year to help fund its progression work which supports people in recovery from addictions get back into work, training or education.

“50 years ago SCT opened one of the first shelters in the UK for homeless alcoholic men. Sadly today, there still remains a persistent need to help people through periods of addiction and homelessness which is rapidly increasing again. 50 people will sleep overnight with us in the iconic and newly-renovated Crypt to help raise vital funds for our work.” Graham Marshall, CEO, SCT.

A guest Royal visitor will also be attending part of the evening.

“Be warned, it won’t be a comfortable night. The crypt floor is hard and cold and people will need to bring sleeping bags, mats and anything else they need to make it comfy. But it will be a unique and historical night as we have lined up a fantastic evening of stories about Spitalfields past to be shared on the night. Tales will be shared by local historians, amazing story-tellers and former SCT crypt residents before we bed down for the night in the heart of this historical part of London.” Stephen Armstrong, Head of Fundraising, SCT

There is no sign up fee to join the event, but the charity is suggesting that sleepers raise £300 each from colleagues, friends and family to experience some hardship for the night and to support their work.

In the morning, after a simple breakfast, a thanksgiving service with the Bishop of Stepney, Adrian Newman, will take place to welcome the new day and celebrate SCT’s 50th anniversary

To find out more about the event:

SCT: a short history

In early 1965, the Rector of Christ Church found a homeless man had passed away on the Church steps one night. Shaken to the core by this, that November, he opened up the Crypt as a shelter for homeless alcoholic men. This was back when Spitalfields Market was a big fruit and veg market. Today SCT stills run a drop in for the homeless serving over 150 visitors a week alongside:

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