Bishop visits football club’s project for the homeless

Bishop and Joe Royle

Bishop Tony and Jimmy Weilds with Joe Royle and Sue Gregory.

Bishop Tony Porter visited Everton Football Club on Merseyside, at the invitation of former player Joe Royle, to discuss a project to house homeless men.

The club are planning to buy a house to help rehabilitate men who have been living on the streets.

Bishop Tony was accompanied by Jimmy Weilds, who was once homeless on Merseyside and struggling with addictions, to give a first-hand account of what it is like to be destitute and what services the club could offer.  Jimmy was set on the road to recovery by the Christian charity Betel, for which he now works.

Mr Royle, who works for Everton FC helping to develop young talent, knows Bishop Tony from his time as manager at Manchester City, during which time the Bishop was the club chaplain.

“I spoke to Joe about the house project and he said this is right up your street, come and have a look,” said Bishop Tony. “Jimmy was able to help because he understands what the needs of the homeless are and what is needed to get them back on the right road.”

They also visited a free school set up by the club to teach pupils who have been excluded from other schools.

Bishop Tony and Jimmy also met Sue Gregory, who is the Director of Youth Engagement, Employability and Sports Development at Everton, who is involved in the project.