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Our devoted minister who helped Leicester's homeless community for 55 years dies.

David who served the poor and homeless of Leicester for more than half a century has died. It was a personal mission that saw him rewarded for his efforts by the Queen.

The Reverend David Morris, who served the homeless of the city for more than 55 years, died on April 30 at the age of 83. A devoted servant to helping those most in need, he continued working to help those at risk of homelessness until his death, ensuring a legacy could remain in the years to come.

It was through personal experience soon after he moved to Leicester that Revd Morris developed his passion for helping those in need. Others would join him in this journey to helping the vulnerable and homeless in the city.

Born in Hereford in 1938, David was the son of missionaries who served in the UK and Africa. Becoming a minister himself, he arrived in Leicester in 1965 a few weeks early ahead of starting his position at the Congregational Church on Humberstone Road.

However, his early arrival meant he had no place to sleep until the church could place him in a house. That meant he stayed at the YMCA, an experience that shaped David’s future mission in helping others. It was here where he shared a room with a homeless man and from here Rev Morris believed he had to do what he could to help those in need.

The results were seen at his first church, which later became Charnwood URC, where he soon started a daily breakfast for homeless people. This went on for several years and also saw the launching of other projects, including Leicester's first night shelter on New Walk.

From here, David went on to found Action Homeless at Mayfield House alongside David Carter. Still running to this day, the charity has helped support hundreds of people every year who become affected by homelessness.

Come the late 1980s, David created his first mission project of the United Reformed Church. Known as the Community of Grace, it is a charity that offers refuge to those most in need and is still running to this day.

It was these years’ of effort that saw David receive an MBE from Her Majesty for his long service to homeless people. The honour, which was awarded in 2000, saw the Reverend issue a simple response that he was not special and was only doing what was right.

David continued to live in Evington and was Minister of Wycliffe United Reformed Church until last year when he need to receive more specialist support. However, his work in helping others had not ended as he had laid down a vision to create a Supportive CoHousing Community. This project, which encompasses a shared space for people to support each other in the community, did not come to fruition during his lifetime, but will happen soon as the Community of Grace and GraceWorks Gardens are currently working together to form Leicestershire’s first CoHousing Community.

A celebration of David’s life will be held on Saturday, June 18. Held at the Wycliffe United Reformed Church on the Common in Evington, it begins at 2pm. Anyone who wishes to attend should email: life@communityofgrace.co.uk

A memorial fund has been set up in remembrance of David. To donate please go to: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/Revd-David-Morris

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