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Broom - Homeless & Displaced

Broom (Calicotome villosa): Homeless and Displaced

Calicotome villosa, also known as hairy thorny broom and spiny broom, is a small shrubby tree native to the eastern Mediterranean region


Bible Passage: 1 Kings 19 v4

“But he (Elijah) went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree;”

The books of Kings in the Old Testament are chronicles of events that happened around the time of King David (of Goliath fame) covering a period about 600 years before Jesus’s birth.

Elijah is a central figure in these books. He was a prophet, who was strident in denouncing evil practices, including those of the rich and powerful, even when that put him at risk of his life. Elijah also stood up for the poor and oppressed and is recorded as performing many miracles.

This verse comes from one of the occasions when Elijah has fled into safety fearful for his life.



The Bible contains many stories where people have had to leave their homes and live in exile. Sometimes this is individuals like Elijah; in other circumstances it is much more significant communities such as the Israelites in exile in Babylon to whom the prophet Isaiah was speaking and reminding them of God’s comfort and message of hope.

The reasons why the people of the Bible had to leave their homes are often similar to the experiences of people in our own times, including:

  •  hunger,
  • the breakdown in relationships,
  • threats from the powerful to individuals or groups of people,
  • the impact of war.

We are aware of many people in our own country who experience homelessness, and also millions of people across the world displaced from their homes and communities.


Almighty and merciful God,
whose Son became a refugee and had no place to call his own;
look with mercy on those who today are homeless and hungry, or strangers in a foreign land.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all people will be able to live together in harmony, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


What we do?


Lancaster & District Homeless Action Service

Locally, our church supports the work of the Lancaster & District Homeless Advice Service, through regular giving and the donation of food and surplus clothing.

Information about their work and how you can support them can be found at Welcome to LDHAS


Christian Aid

Internationally, we support the work of organisations working with refugees and displaced communities throughout the world, through Christian Aid.

Information about where they work to respond to emergencies and to help build hope for marginalised communities across the world can be found at UK charity fighting global poverty - Christian Aid.



Further Resources



United Reformed Church | Churches Preston | Garstang Church