As the UK contends with soaring energy prices, the Archdiocese of Liverpool is stepping in with a clever new initiative. This year, Catholic parishes and clubs around the Liverpudlian area will open their doors to provide warm spaces for locals who are struggling to heat their own homes, as part of the new Warm and Cozy project.
Warm and Cozy
According to The Pillar, Warm and Cozy was the brainchild of Jill Boggan, Director of Finance and Development at Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool. Boggan saw reports that suggested this winter’s fuel costs could account for as much as 10% of a household’s income, and recognized the need for the Archdiocese to intervene. As the manager of 37 parish centers throughout the archdiocese, Boggan was in a unique position to help.
She began to discuss options with her colleagues, who worked out means with which to offer a warm area where people can come to shake off the cold. On top of that, the Warm and Cozy project is funded enough that these sites can offer hot beverages, free wi-fi, and communal televisions. Facilities that are large enough can even host group activities, like bingo.
Some of the parishes, like Holy Rosary, are equipped to serve full meals:
Warmth of community
Speaking to The Pillar, Fr. Stephen Pritchard, the pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption in Gateacre, hailed the initiative. He did, however, lament that society had reached a point where such implementations are necessary:
“It is incredibly sad that we’ve got to this stage,” Fr. Pritchard stated. “But I’m delighted that we’re doing it. It’s a great initiative. I’m glad we’re being so responsive so quickly, and sort of ahead of the curve before the winter really does get worse.”
Along with the warmth, both from the heating and the community, the Warm and Cozy project will make it easier to place resources in the hands of those in the most need. Boggan said that parishes are organizing coat drives that will provide warm clothes at no charge. She said she would also like to use the gathering spots to raise awareness on fire safety, noting that many people will have to heat their homes with older appliances.
The initiative is very new and the archdiocese is still developing a website for the project. Until it’s ready, read more about this worthy endeavor at The Pillar.