Last Thursday, I was begging on the doorstep of Church House, Westminster in the role of a homeless person for five hours from 9am to 2pm.
You are not taught to do that at college when preparing for ordination 50 years ago. Nor is it something I was expecting to do at the age of 87. But something has to be done.
I was begging on the last day of the February meeting of the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England.
I was supporting from the street two excellent motions to be voted on that day. One was promoting a better friendship between church members and impoverished people in line with the priority given to it by Jesus.
The other was opposing the shredding of legal aid which is blocking access to justice for many. Both motions were passed unanimously.
I learnt a little of what it is like to be homeless on the streets.
Sitting in the cold for hours on end is boring and very uncomfortable.
I did not feel the cold until after I had finished the vigil. Then my body felt chilled until it warmed up in the early hours of the next morning. Charities, shelters and cold weather polices of local authorities simply do not meet the need for or the right to a home in all weathers.
While several people entering or leaving Church House stopped for a chat, most walked by as if I was not there.
That invisibility while lying on the pavement must be very depressing for long term street homeless people.
£14.38 was put into my mug which I gave to one of the three street homeless people begging outside Tottenham who I pass on my journey home. I am planning another session in the role of beggar opposite Downing Street.
I founded the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K) as a charity in 1997 to respond to the Poll Tax and Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP) in 2012 to respond to austerity.
Both Z2K and TAP are committed to working with and for the poorest UK citizens without allegiance to any political party. I have worked with and for low income families and individuals for 40 years. Debt, hunger and homelessness are now very bad and getting worse.
By demonstrating for the homeless I wanted to draw the attention of Synod members to the concerns I hear so often from TAP's supporters about the Church of England's commercial use of very valuable land in ways that do not contribute to ending homelessness.
Homeless families in temporary accommodation were also in my mind. According to Shelter at least one parent is employed in 33,000 out of 86,000 such families in England.
There is a statement doing the rounds in Government circles that says putting homeless families in temporary accommodation is all right because they "have a roof over their heads". But homeless families can be forced to move several times in up to and over ten years of "roofs over their heads".
They can be overcrowded, filthy or bed-and-breakfast and they cost local authorities over £1bn. Homelessness is a debilitating insecurity that our policy makers would never accept for themselves and ought not accept for anyone else.
We have launched an Elimination of Homlessness Bill. A new way out of our dire housing crisis into truly affordable housing for both low and middle income, renters and first time buyers must be found.
The ever growing size of street and family homelessness demands it, as do nurses, police, bus drivers, carers, cleaners and the other men and women of the low paid essential services.
For too long local authorities have used high value public land to finance developers to built private housing with rents and prices that are far too high.
All public land ought now to be reserved for building only truly affordable social housing to rent or to buy, while prioritising low income homeless renters; also the length of time land or property can be left unused or empty ought to be limited to six months.
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