BY ANTHONY }MIELE
CARDINAL BASIL Hume and Anglican Bishop John Gladwin have challenged the Churches to use their own property and provide more resources to tackle homelessness and the chronic shortage of housing.
The call was made at the launch of the Church Housing Advice and Planning Service, at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster.
The Church leaders called on churches across the country to identify 100 church sites potentially suitable for development as affordable housing over the next years.
Church authorities were encouraged to investigate whether underused or surplus churchowned land and property could be used to meet the needs of homeless or
badly-housed people. Cardinal Basil Hume said "If churches have property that is underused, or surplus to current needs, they ought to investigate whether it could be used in some way to meet the needs of homeless or badly housed people in the local community."
He continued: "The use of church property for these purposes can be a witness to our concerns and an encouragement to others."
Echoing the Cardinal's words, the Rt Rev John Gladwin said that he was in full agreement with the Cardinal.
"This launch is particularly significant at a time when we are being encouraged as a country to focus ever more sharply on the naoral and social justice needs of society."