News

Big Issue seller Andrew leads Exeter Cathedral homelessness talk

Exeter vendor Andrew McGarry spoke of his struggles with homelessness in a discussion with Bishop Martin Shaw.

A popular Big Issue vendor in Exeter swapped his pitch for centre-stage at the city’s cathedral as part of a discussion about homelessness.

Andrew McGarry – who sells the magazine nearby at Cathedral Green and recently visited the House of Lords as a guest of Big Issue founder Lord John Bird (below) – was interviewed by Bishop Martin Shaw during Holy Ground, an alternative worship service held monthly at the Cathedral.

What struck me was the simplicity of Andrew’s spirituality

He spoke of his faith, and his own experience of being homeless on and off for around 20 years after his time serving in the army, explaining how he is often asked by locals how they can help practically.

“People want to know how best they can help – they feel guilty and want to show compassion,” Andrew said. “I tell them to show practical compassion, to buy a coffee or a sandwich, and talk.”

Bishop Martin added: “What struck me was the simplicity of Andrew’s spirituality and also the simplicity of his lifestyle. Both of these seem to me to provide him with an abiding sense of hope.”

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
France is booting homeless migrants out of Paris ahead of the Olympics – but some are fighting back
Paris Olympics 2024

France is booting homeless migrants out of Paris ahead of the Olympics – but some are fighting back

Hefty jail terms for Just Stop Oil activists 'set a terrible example for the rest of the world'
Traffic on the M25 during a Just Stop Oil protest
Climate activism

Hefty jail terms for Just Stop Oil activists 'set a terrible example for the rest of the world'

How can I help homeless people during a UK heatwave?
uk heatwave
Homelessness

How can I help homeless people during a UK heatwave?

DWP Jobcentre security guards 'suffer' and turn to food banks as wages fail to cover basics
dwp jobcentre security guards on the picket line
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP Jobcentre security guards 'suffer' and turn to food banks as wages fail to cover basics

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know

Support our vendors with a subscription

For each subscription to the magazine, we’ll provide a vendor with a reusable water bottle, making it easier for them to access cold water on hot days.