Very Rev Dr Russell Barr spent his year as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (2016-17) campaigning for change in homelessness policy, is a member of the Scottish Government's Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group and also leads the Edinburgh charity, Fresh Start, which helps people who have been homeless establish themselves in their new home.
Here, he has written a prayer for us on the theme of homelessness this Advent season.
God of the poor and the dispossessed
what has gone so wrong in someone’s life
that they have ended up sleeping rough?
And what has gone wrong in society
that so many people are homeless
living in hostels or temporary accommodation
without a place to call home?
Surely it doesn’t need to be like this?
So hear my prayer for Street Pastors and those who run the night shelters
offering care, kindness and something to eat,
for all who support people who are homeless
helping them through their difficulties,
to make a fresh start in life
the Scottish Government’s Working Group
advising ministers on what is needed
to bring an end to rough sleeping and resolve homelessness.
born in a stable
laid to rest in a borrowed tomb
renew my resolve to work and pray for the day
when all Your people will have a place to call home.