THE first night of a new scheme run by churches to help the homeless has been a success, and coincided with high winds and driving rain.

Tuesday was the first night of an Oxford Diocese initiative by seven city centre churches to provide shelter for rough sleepers until the end of March.

Each night a different church provides beds for 10 homeless men and women.

And with Storm Eleanor ripping through the county in the early hours, St Michael at the North Gate in Cornmarket Street was the first to open its doors. 

Bob Earl, 69, church warden at St Michael at the North Gate, said four men were given a bed on the first night, including one rough sleeper who was in a mobility scooter.

Mr Earl said: “It went very smoothly and we will be back to do the same next week.”