'MOVING home is more stressful than divorce!' We’ve all read those reports. Just imagine moving house when that house is 'home' to 40 to 50 people.

Kendal's local homelessness charity, Manna House, is on the move - removal vans roll up to Castle Lodge on October 17 and we hope to open our doors again on Friday, November 19, at the new Stephenson Centre on Ann Street.

We are not a residential service - but a changing population of at least 40 people who visit us between 10am and 3pm three days a week, just to relax, see their friends and get a hot lunch.

Some of them have nowhere else at all and many live in hostels, supported housing, or other places which they may have to leave at any moment. But Manna House is, and always has been, there for them.

We are all of us worried - that we won’t get packed up, that things will get lost, that there’s something we’ve not set up in the new place - but most of all we’re worried that the new place just won’t feel like ‘home’ to the people who need it most.

But we shouldn’t be. As the Israelites learned the hard way, during their painful exile in Babylon, God isn’t 'left behind' in a ruined temple. He is always with His people. And deep down we know that wherever the staff, volunteers and guests of Manna House gather - on Aynam Road or Ann Street - our unique ethos of welcome will make that house a home.

Lois Sparling, Winter Shelter and Volunteers Co-ordinator, Manna House