I first met Andy about a year ago, I don’t want to say too much because he has written his story below, only that we feel honored that he has chosen to hang out with us and become a part of this community that is growing in Covent Garden.
In August 2014 I was walking past the Swiss Church with my friend Sam, the door was open and I was made welcome by the community worker, Matt. I was invited in for coffee, I got chatting and explained my situation… that I was homeless. I was told to come by any time for a coffee which I have done ever since. At first it was kind of our secret mine and Sams, our hidden gem. We didn’t tell too many people about it. The word has since spread and it is nice to see so many people enjoying the hospitality and guidance on offer at the Swiss Church.
I was invited to the church for breakfast and soup over the coming weeks and popped in on a regular basis so I also got to know the other members of staff. I found them also to be very welcoming and non-judgmental which has actually meant a lot to me.
I slowly, slowly started helping out, doing small jobs such as moving chairs. This evolved into helping with the Breakfast on the Steps and Holy Soup with I am now involved in running. I have the pleasure of meeting lots of different people and have the opportunity to look at myself from the other side of the fence. I take pleasure in my volunteering; it makes a difference in the lives of people even if it is just for a couple of hours.
This place has given me a purpose in life though my volunteering, that purpose being helping other people.
I also enjoy just sitting here and soaking up the atmosphere. This place has a calming effect on me, and I enjoy the spirituality, it makes me feel good.
I feel the staff and I are friends which opposes my previous conceptions of the church.
What I like about the community is the faith, trust and encouragement they have shown me, to follow my sense of calling. Being involved at the Swiss Church I feel I benefit hugely as a person by helping other people.