Torbay churches campaign against cuts

The bishop at Leonards Stock Centre

Over a hundred people from churches and the community came together outside Torquay Town Hall on Sunday in support of those facing or experiencing homelessness.

The vigil coincided with Homelessness Sunday, marked by churches across the country with special services and prayers.

Locals defied the pouring rain to meet outside the town hall and ask for a reprieve for Supporting People services, which are facing cuts of 73 per cent.

Geoff Hawkins, Chapter 1 chief executive, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, Bishop of Crediton, and Doug Sanders, Manager of the Leonard Stocks Centre Torbay

Prayers were said for people in hardship, especially those who stand to be affected by cuts to the services.

The meeting also heard from those whose lives had been changed by them.

As part of the vigil, a soup kitchen in reverse was provided by hostel residents to the public.

The Bishop of Crediton, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, visited the Leonard Stocks Centre, run by the Chapter 1 charity, and Shekinah Mission, to give his support to Torbay SOS and hear about 10 other Supporting People services facing cutbacks or total closure in April.

The bishop said: "My visit to the Leonard Stock's Centre was really helpful and enlightening. It's a centre of which Torbay should be proud.

"I'm deeply concerned that valued projects for vulnerable adults in Torbay are taking the heaviest cuts."

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