Written by Helen Beecham

Thank you to all who support and pray for Open House! We love that this is a Churches Together, community wide project and we so appreciate the ways in which everyone contributes; whether that is as a volunteer on a Tuesday, through regular financial giving, regular donations of food & household products or through standing with us in prayer – we know how important prayer cover is in any venture.

And so, we thought it would be really good to try and send out regular news updates and prayer requests;


  • As I’m sure everyone will know our project manager, and founder, Helen Croud, moved to Oxford in August to begin training with the Church of England. She is loving Oxford and thoroughly enjoying the course! Since September, Open House has been in the safe hands of a ‘Core Team’ and continues to thrive and serve the local community.
  • So far this year Open House has welcomed over 700 families or individuals through the door! We have been able to issue over 250 emergency aid food parcels and/or household packs to those in need, helped 197 with benefits advice and 81 with housing advice. We have also been able to help 26 people with letter writing and form filling as well as those who just want to come in for coffee, cake and a chat.
  • Our biggest news at the moment is that we are in the process of applying for separate charitable status for Open House! We currently operate under the umbrella of Fathers House, but having our own charitable status will give us access to much more funding and larger grants.
  • We really value the support that Father’s House has given the project over the last 3 years – pastorally, financially and in the use of a large part of their building every Tuesday! And we are so pleased that this will continue, even when we have our own charitable status.
  • Once again we are starting to plan a Christmas event for our clients. We will be sending out invitations to everyone who has used any of our Open House services in the last 12 months, to come and enjoy a lovely Christmas buffet meal. Each family will leave with a hamper of Christmas treats and every child will receive a small gift from Father Christmas!


 Prayer Requests

Please pray that God will supply all of the finances that we need in the following areas;

  • The training of more benefit & housing advisors (approx £700 per advisor)
  • Emergency aid – basic toiletries and household products (approx £75 per week)
  • Purchase of another much needed laptop (approx £200)

Please pray for favour with the community and local businesses as we plan our Christmas event. In previous years we have had the support of;

  • Tesco – Allowing us to stand outside the store and collect items for Christmas hampers
  • Virginia Hayward – Supplying 50 hampers full of Christmas goodies! As well as the boxes to make up our own hampers.
  • Churches Together – Collecting gifts and Christmas items

Please pray for us as we plan, organise and run the Christmas event!

Please pray that our application for separate charitable status will run smoothly and be dealt with quickly!

And lastly, please pray for all of our volunteers, current ones and new ones yet to join, that we will continue to be passionate for the people we meet each week, showing them God’s unconditional love and meeting them in their time of need.


Thank you for your support!


If you would like to volunteer to be part of the Open House team on Tuesdays or if you would like to support us by giving regularly please contact helen@fathershouseshaftesbury.co.uk


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