Above Us Only Sky? is a Christian charity which was started out of a need to try to find immediate solutions for those who are living rough on the streets. There are other charities who work with the homeless to find long-term solutions, accommodation, jobs and social support, but shelter for the homeless is limited and those who are sent back out onto the streets face bleak conditions.
Our vision is to provide every homeless person in the UK with a military-style, all-weather sleeping bag, capable of keeping them warm whatever the conditions may be. However, the sleeping bag is just the start; we aim to build loving relationships with the homeless and helpless, to meet not just their physical but also their spiritual needs, to show them God’s love and to treat them with respect and dignity. This means talking to them, listening to them, comforting them, praying with them and providing for them in a variety of ways.
Above Us Only Sky? is not just a reference to the fact that the homeless in our communities don’t have a roof over their heads; it also alludes to the fact that there is more to life than this, that there is a God in heaven who loves us and wants us to find salvation and eternal life through His son, Jesus. This is something that we share with the homeless that we are working with, showing them the love of God by meeting their immediate needs with the hope that as we share the gospel, many more will come to faith.
Our Values and Objectives
Above Us Only Sky? is a Christian charity whose purpose is to provide immediate and long-term support for the homeless in the UK, primarily in Essex and London
As a Christian charity, we believe in:
- The Bible as the word of God
- God as the creator of the world
- Jesus Christ, the son of God, as the loving saviour of mankind
- The Holy Spirit who gives us the power to carry out God’s work
Treating all humans with the dignity, respect and love which they deserve, as we are all created in the image of God.
Our People and Trustees
The people and trustees of Above Us Only Sky? are a group of committed Christians who have a common vision to see the love of Jesus shared with those in need. For some of the team, working with the homeless and vulnerable has been their mission for many years, but it became apparent in 2010 that more needed to be done to support those living on the streets. Above Us Only Sky? was set up to raise funds to provide for the immediate needs of those without shelter. The trustees signed the first constitution at just around the time that arctic conditions swept the UK. Those first donations purchased the sleeping bags that saved many lives that winter. The original team has grown significantly since the charity’s inception. A group of volunteers wrap and pack the sleeping bags, while others sew labels, knit hats and gloves and perform a multitude of other tasks. Each member of the team gives their time and efforts freely; no-one claims any wages or expenses. For more information on those responsible for the work of Above Us Only Sky? please click Read More.
The charity is supported by four main churches. Individual members of each of these churches are actively involved in serving those on the streets.
St Luke’s Cranham with Moor Lane Church
St Luke's and Moor Lane are both lively, modern and informal Church of England congregations within the Cranham Park parish. St Luke’s was established in the 1950s and the congregation at Moor Lane was planted in the 1980s to serve the growing church community. Both churches are supporters of Above Us Only Sky? and the charity’s operations are based at Moor Lane Church.
Eleos Christian Church, Bethnal Green
Eleos Christian Church was established in 1994 and is a dynamic community of believers, whose aim is to make the gospel of Jesus Christ known to everyone from across the street to across the seas. The church places great emphasis on the outpouring of one's faith through a balanced theology of working out one's faith through the love of God and the power of His Spirit. Being strategically located in the heart of London, Eleos Christian Church serves as a training base for missionaries from all over the globe and has sister congregations throughout the world. The church’s pastor, Kurt Erickson, is the founder of Church Without Walls, Westminster, a ministry supported by Above Us Only Sky?.
Bethel Church, East Hanningfield
Situated in the picturesque village of East Hanningfield, Bethel Evangelical Church has been actively witnessing the gospel since the 1920s. As part of ‘Village Hope’, Bethel was planted after East Hanningfield was described as ‘a place of appalling need’. Then in 2006 Bethel opened its doors to a new building on the original site as the church experiences growth.
Bethel blog: www.pjcockrell.wordpress.com
Above Us Only Sky? collaborate and work alongside three key organisations.
Church Without Walls, Westminster. The Salvation Army. Teen Challenge, London.