The Bishop of Lincoln will spend a night in a stable this month, much like the nativity scene, to raise money for charity.
The Rt Revd Christopher Lowson will sleep in a cold stable near Harmston on December 20 to support the Nomad and Christian Aid’s Favela project in Brazil.
He hopes to raise £5,000 for the causes, and donations are already being made at his Charity Giving page.
The Bishop will only have a sleeping bag and the straw around him for comfort, with no other luxuries permitted.
The weather is expected to be cold and wet, but not at freezing temperature on the night of his sleep.
The Bishop said: “The nativity story is often romanticised into something rather charming and magical, and by doing this I hope to discover some of the harsh realities of the experience of Mary and Joseph – and hundreds of people around the country and the world who have no bed in which to sleep.
“During the Christmas season, when we are enjoying the love of our families and friends and giving and receiving gifts, it is worth remembering those who have no-one to love, or no-one to love them, and who certainly will not be enjoying the long, cold and wet nights outdoors. Please do help me to raise much-needed money for those in overwhelming need close to home, and those around the world.”
A number of other members of the local clergy will also take up the challenge in stables around Lincolnshire on the same night.
And Brenda Willson of the Nomad Trust in Lincoln said: “The Nomad Trust would like to wish Bishop Christopher every success as he strives to raise awareness of homelessness and to thank all those who sponsor him.
“Christmas has become very commercialised and it is easy to forget the true meaning – the birth of our Lord. We are very grateful for all donations which help us to provide warmth and shelter to those whose lives are in crisis, many of whom have no family support.”
Stable owner Peter Mottram, of C A Mottram and Sons, added: “There’s not much draught-proofing we can do in a stable, and we can’t guarantee that our straw is particularly soft, but we hope very much that the Bishop will get some rest, especially as he will be doing this during a very busy season of carol services and his preparations for Christmas.”