The Canon Wray Sock Appeal is back for its fourth year.

Manchester Cathedral can find a good home for any pairs of new, warm socks that people would like to donate to support the Booth Centre in looking after those who find themselves homeless at the turn of the New Year.

Canon Cecil Wray was a very popular, if slightly eccentric, priest who died in 1866 after serving in this church for 56 years. He was a contemporary of Joshua Brookes, and a rival to the claim of being the most prolific baptiser and ‘marrier’ in English history. Records show that he presided over 33,211 christenings, 13,196 marriages and 9996 funerals as a result of the massive growth in population during the Industrial Revolution.

Canon Wray was not afraid to speak his mind or get involved in Manchester’s political and social issues. He campaigned for new schools, the reduction of the working day to 10 hours for mill workers and was known for his sympathy for the needs of the poor.

Canon Wray’s ‘Birthday Gift’ is a fund he set up in 1866 for the provision of socks for the poor on the anniversary of his birthday. From now up until the 21 January, we will be collecting new pairs of socks or any surplus pairs received over Christmas which we will then hand over to the Booth Centre for distribution. This year we will also be accepting hats, scarves and gloves.

The Development Manager at the Booth Centre, Amy Hinks said:

“We are delighted to be supported by the Cathedral’s sock appeal once again. A new pair of socks can seem like a small thing, but they are so essential for people sleeping rough on the streets. This small act of kindness can have a big impact, and really help someone in need during the winter months. Thank you to everyone who donates a pair of socks, we really appreciate the support!”

The Sub Dean, Canon Dr David Holgate, said:

“This is a wonderfully practical response to the problems faced by homeless people during winter: warmth and protection for heads, hands and feet. Please, Manchester, give generously.”


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