What is CAP?
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a Christian charity founded in 1996 by John Kirkby in Bradford. It is now a national organisation specialising in debt counselling for people who are in financial difficulty, as well as helping them to stay out of debt.
How and why did you get involved?
I’d heard the name CAP bandied about, but I never really knew what they did specifically. I watched a programme in October called The Debt Saviours and I was completely blown away by the heart, passion and faith of all the individuals who work for CAP. From that day, I knew God was calling me to get involved. I have always cared deeply for people who are in crisis and poverty and this was my chance to help practically.
What have you been doing with CAP so far?
After the programme I was so excited and quickly told Andy I felt God was calling myself and St Saviour’s into this ministry. I made some enquiries with CAP and we decided to run a Life Skills course – an eight-week course concentrating on helping people to cope on a low income. I then attended an interview/selection day in Bristol – I was so nervous! However, I got through it and was accepted. Then, at the beginning of March, Pat Smart and I travelled up to CAP’s head office in Bradford for two intense training days. It was so much to take in, but we both believe God is at the centre of it all.
We have a guest speaker here on Sunday 28 April, CAP Sunday, when we are officially launching Life Skills. People will be able to find out more about the course which will (hopefully) be starting on Tuesday 28 May. In the meantime, please see the leaflets in the Link and the church website for further information.
How can we get involved?
We will be holding a meeting on an evening following CAP Sunday for anyone who is interested in helping out with the course. We may need different people for different sessions, depending on your skills! As well as practical help with setting up each week, we would also love a dedicated prayer team for CAP, to pray for: protection for the leaders, helpers and clients whilst the course is ongoing, and beyond; for the people attending the course – that it will be well received and that good, strong friendships are formed; and they may find the hope and love that comes from Jesus. We will also need befrienders to come along and be present on the course, in case someone feels uncomfortable speaking in a group and needs a bit of encouragement.
How can we Support CAP?
CAP is not currently funded by the government and therefore relies mainly on donations. Any amount you can give to CAP would make such a difference. Here at St Saviour’s I hope that one day we can become a Debt Centre, but this will require more finance, so we pray God will provide at the right time. I really pray this is the start of something big for all of us, and I can’t wait to get started! God bless, xx
Sarah Harris, CAP representative