The Christmas period often brings into focus for the public the desperate levels of inequality, rough sleeping, hardship and loneliness that way too many people are experiencing in our society. I think it is a combination of the cold weather closing in and the contrast of homelessness with the millions of families celebrating and exchanging gifts in warm family homes up and down the country. Rightly so, we acutely feel the injustice of the contrast and the plight of the most vulnerable.

God chose for the advent of His coming into the world through Jesus Christ to be in a temporary shelter, in the midst of displacement and hardship. Jesus was born in temporary accommodation. Ever since and even now we find Him there, in the places with the most challenging circumstances; Jesus is powerfully present, and He is the hope and light of the world, ministering through His presence and His people to bring relief, hope and love. Truly the Saviour has been born!

I want to thank each and every one of you for your incredible support this year which is enabling us to together bring kindness, practical support, real solutions and accommodation to thousands of people. I wish you a peaceful and meaningful Christmas, where you know comfort and joy, and that you enter the New Year with hope and peace in your heart.

Merry Christmas from all the team at Bethany,

Alasdair Bennett, Chief Executive