It’s not often that I sleep next to man. It’s even rarer that he is taller than me. I have never before slept next to a 6’6″ man who has been dead for over 600 years. But then again last night was different… but I can explain…
I hate my birthdays, have lost count of them, and find that I get grumpy being the centre of attention. So this year I decided to do something different and spent the night in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. I find it sad that poverty still blights British society, and this Advent I have decided to try to help. Thousands of us, often very close to home, are struggling with debt, homelessness, isolation, depression, addiction, abuse, or violence. I have also been deeply impressed by the work of Church Urban Fund and wanted to support them by raising money as part of Christ Church’s Advent Sleepout Challenge. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family when I asked them, rather than buy me a pint, to contribute to the CUF’s appeal. If you would like, you can still contribute here.
It was a really exciting experience, with a great group of friends. I found a spot on the floor next to a tall chap called John de Nowers. While I had opted for a red sleeping bag and hoodie, John had chosen a coat of chainmail, broadsword, tilting helmet, and had by his feet, his pet lion. But then again he died in 1386.
And here is the fantastic video that those nice people at the Church Urban Fund have made about all the fun we had!