New Hope is a Christian charity. But what does this mean?
In some ways it is easier to explain what it doesn’t mean! It doesn’t mean that we only help Christians - we support people regardless of faith, class, disability, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.
It also doesn’t mean that our staff and volunteers have to be Christian. Although we do ask that all staff and volunteers are sympathetic to our ethos and values.
One of our values is ‘Be Faithful - We will seek God’s guidance and enabling through prayer. “ We produce a monthly prayer diary and start each day with prayer. Each year, we hold an annual birthday celebration which features prayer, worship and Bible readings. We are part of Christians Across Watford and have strong relationships with churches in Watford and the surrounding area.
We believe that our day-to-day activities of providing shelter, food and clothing are core to following Jesus. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in which He demonstrates that by helping those who are in need, we are actually helping Him.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36
In Entertaining Angels, the story of New Hope’s early years, Janet Hosier writes of how she and Sheila Meaning were inspired by the words of one of the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah 58. These words continue to motivate us today:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?“ Isaiah 58:6-7
While New Hope staff and volunteers come from a variety of faiths or no faith, we share a common motivation of wanting to prevent homelessness and transform lives. We are united in our commitment and dedication to helping those who are currently experiencing homelessness in Watford.
We have signed up to Housing Justice’s Charter for Christian Homelessness Agencies which was created to encourage homelessness charities, such as New Hope, to integrate best practice with a confident expression of Christian ethos.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact Rebecca Palmer, our Fundraising and Communications Manager.