Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Catholic and Anglican bishops visit homeless

Press Releases

Catholic and Anglican bishops visit homeless

11th April 2014
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Brentwood and the Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford visited East London based homeless charity Caritas Anchor House on Friday as part of 'Listen To God: Hear the Poor' week.

This joint initiative between Archbishop Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols aims to highlight the efforts of Christians who work with those in need and runs from Passion Sunday on 6 April to Palm Sunday on 13 April.

Bishop Thomas McMahon and Bishop Stephen Cottrell spent the day visiting two flagship poverty fighting projects in their dioceses. The bishops visited Chelmsford Food Bank in the morning, before travelling to Caritas Anchor House in Canning Town, Newham - a homeless charity of which Bishop Thomas has been a significant supporter over the years.

Meeting with Director Keith Fernett and Appeal Director Guy Insull, they spoke about the organisation's work with homeless and vulnerable people in Newham and heard about the charity’s £9.3million Home and Hope Appeal, which aims to expand their facilities to meet the growing demand on their services.

A highlight of the day was meeting with Caritas Anchor House residents Hassan, Warren, Richard and Lavina. The four spoke openly of their experiences and told the bishops how much of a difference the charity has made to their lives, providing them with not just a home, but also the support and training they need to get back on their feet.

“Our charity is based in one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK,” said Director Keith Fernett. “Newham is at the wrong end of every statistic including poverty, homelessness, health and employment, and we work with those at the very margins of society. 

“Our aim is to put the Christian values for alleviating poverty and suffering into practice, and through our programme of services we are able to help those who have experienced much loss. Our residents are achieving great things - they are taking courses, volunteering and getting into work, and it’s fantastic to be able to share their stories with the Christian community.”

For more information about Caritas Anchor House, please go to Alternatively, if you would like to make a donation towards their work, please send a cheque payable to Caritas Anchor House to Freepost – Homeless, 81 Barking Road, London E16 4HB.


Jazmine Sandison, Marketing and Communications Lead
Caritas Anchor House, 81 Barking Road, London E16 4HB
Phone: 020 7476 6062


Caritas Anchor House is a nationally acclaimed flagship project addressing the root causes of homelessness – such as poor education, substance misuse, mental health problems, domestic violence or a history of offending – and create sustainable solutions that ensure the people we help will never find themselves in that situation again. 

It is a registered charity providing accommodation for up to 220 single homeless people each year aged 19 to 65. It gives so much more than just a roof over their heads and provides a wide range of accredited vocational training courses in construction, electrical, plumbing and distance learning for both residents and the local community. In practical terms, this means not only giving our residents the skills and confidence they need to rebuild their lives and move on to independent living, but also serving the community as a whole.

The charity is located in Canning Town, in the London Borough of Newham, the third most deprived borough in England and Wales.


Bishops with staff and residents

From left to right: Guy Insull (Appeal Director of Caritas Anchor House), Revd Chantal Mason, Hassan (resident), Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood, Richard (resident), Bishop Stephen Cottrell of Chelmsford, Warren (resident)