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Christ Church Cathedral, sleeps 18, good location

Written by Megan Chester, posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Megan Chester, 2nd year studying English, has written the following report on the Advent Sleepout Challenge:

 

Participants in the 2018 Advent Sleepout ChallengeLittle did the choir know, as they processed out of their stalls on the 29th of November, that they were trampling all over what would be my bed for the night.

In the last week of term, a group of 18 Christ Church students, staff and friends raised over £3000 to help homeless people, by taking part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge. Each year, people all over the country join in with Church Urban Fund’s work, getting sponsored to sleep somewhere other than their beds – perhaps a school hall, a church, maybe even a shed!

Very much off the beaten track of Airbnb, our room for the evening was Christ Church Cathedral. After a trip up the tower to see the bell ringers, we gathered in the North Transept to play some fun, festive games and pass the time listening to Canon Ward’s ghost stories! Before long, we were all adequately sleepy and ready for bed. Firstly, however, we each had to make a bed. Upon discovering a nicely-sized gap which was handily positioned between stalls and wooden panels, I had chosen my spot, and thanks to the versatility of pew cushions, my bed was soon made.

We were bundled up in sleeping bags and lay safe in the knowledge that this was just for one night – tomorrow we would be off the dusty floor and back in our beds. The Advent Sleepout Challenge aims to support people for whom this is not the case. The cold, stone ground is not a one-off. Homelessness is an issue, which often feels hugely complicated. It can be difficult to know how to help. I didn’t think that my curling up on the cathedral floor for a night would make any difference whatsoever, but it is amazing what can be achieved when you get together to try and do good. People’s generosity and giving has been so humbling and far exceeded my expectations. Thank you so much to everyone who showed us all support.

The following morning was an early start – we had to be up in good time, so that the snores of stray students scattered in every nook and cranny of the cathedral didn’t drift into Morning Prayer! It had been a slightly surreal forty winks, but also a lot of fun and all for a good cause.

Now, every time I go to Evensong, I can’t help but think fondly of the night I spent curled up in a little corner of Christ Church Cathedral!

Would you like to donate?  There’s still time!  Go to https://sleepoutchallenge2018.everydayhero.com/uk/team-christ-church