Bringing God's grace and healing love
to people with life-disrupting problems
We are a Christian organisation working with many of the most abused and vulnerable people in our society: drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, rough sleepers; many of whom have fallen off the bottom rung of society and need help - first, to survive, and then to start rebuilding a life.
People ask, "What do you do?" and sometimes it feels that the most honest answer is "Everything - and anything." Whatever needs to be done, whatever will help this person at this time. Sometimes it is practical help; sometimes just listening, being there for them.
The job of the Church is to tell people about God's love and to show them that love in action. That's about it, really. We are to love God first, but our love for God has to be demonstrated by the way we love the people around us.
This work is not an optional extra. Loving the unlovely is a large part (the main part?) of what it means to be Church: God's people doing God's work, God's way.
The Church needs to work together to address the problems of homelessness and addiction, and to work together with the secular agencies.
Last year, I talked about some of the ways in which we are seeking to be more effective as an organisation; the other side of the coin is that we are also seeking to work more efficiently with the many other organisations and agencies that are also devoted to helping the same people.
Apart from working more closely with the Council, the main development over the past year has been the increasing profile and activity of the BCAN Homeless Forum. We have been facilitating this since September 2001, and it has recently taken a higher profile with a signed-up membership and an elected steering group. Please visit www.bcan.org.uk for more news of this important development.
Working here is often frustrating, but always a privilege: you get to share the highs and lows of so many lives. Recently, we have had several marriages and several deaths; some lives have turned around, while a few others seem intent on self-destruction.
If you would like to hear about some of the individuals we are helping, and to receive more up to date news about the ministry, we would love to send you a copy of our quarterly newsletter, or add you to the email prayer list.
And, finally, we continue to welcome invitations from churches and other groups. There is still a great deal of ignorance concerning the issues we deal with, and a great deal of well-intentioned but wasted activity. We can provide basic education about the issues, help groups think and pray about a suitable response, or consider Biblical material from the perspective of our work. You can contact us at the office, 12 City Road, BS2 8TP, or via the web site at www.crisis-centre.org.uk.