Walking in the dawn

13 December 2006

by Margaret Duggan

COLD and very damp, the 35 who slept rough in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral were served a well-deserved hot breakfast of sausages, eggs, and toast, says Tony Allen of the Cathedral.

The rain had been torrential, but only two young girls from the Roman Catholic school had eventually sought shelter in the vestry. The rest had endured the wet in their sleeping and survival bags on sheets of cardboard, while other tried to find comfort in cardboard boxes.

Among them were the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Margaret Hutchon, with her Escort, Jim Hutchon, and the Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Peter Judd, “whose sleeping bag was drenched”. They were doing it to raise money for CHESS, the Chelmsford shelter for the homeless, where, Mr Allen says, the Dean is a regular helper.

It is still not known how much money they raised in sponsorship, but the Mayor said at 7 a.m. that she had just qualified to claim £500, and a chorister knew he had raised £200.

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