Our founder Reverend Paul Cowley was recently in Australia, where he spoke to the Centre for Public Christianity about his life, his conviction that Jesus can change all people, and the church's role in caring for ex-offenders. You can hear the interview here.
London City Mission
CFEO works closely with a number of charities across London which is crucial to enable churches to meet the variety of needs that many ex-offenders have. One of those charities is London City Mission.
LCM was founded in 1835, and their goal is to share the good news of Jesus and the love of God with London's least reached - those living in poverty, those marginalised by their choices, situations or health issues, those from other cultural groups alienated from the church.
They show this love and good news in all sorts of practical ways through their work with churches, community centres, cafes, schools, prisons, transitional housing and homeless ministries.
CFEO has been privileged to work with two of their missionaries from LCM’s Kings Cross team, Neil Gillespie and Luke Carson, at HMP Pentonville. Luke and Neil assist the Pentonville chaplaincy with running the Alpha course in the prison and can provide a pathway of support for any of our referrals who are coming out homeless. See more about their team and their work here.
CFEO Update - December 2016
CFEO has had a great 2016, building on the plans we made at the beginning of the year and developing our three year strategy to improve our processes and training resources.
A particular highlight has been welcoming Karis, a third team member and we are thrilled that she has joined us.
It has also been wonderful to watch our mentees develop and overcome challenges this year. Having focussed on London, we’ve had more time to invest in the individuals we are supporting and have been able to keep in better contact with their mentors as well. We are excited about going into 2017 with a clear vision to continue to help people reintegrate into society by connecting them with loving communities based in local churches.
CFEO works closely with a number of charities across London which is crucial to enable churches to meet the variety of needs that many ex-offenders have. One of those charities is Crosslight Advice which has a branch in South Kensington where CFEO is based.
Crosslight Advice is an independent debt and money advice charity which exists to help anyone struggling under the burden of unmanageable debt, typically caused by poverty, low income, long-term illness, mental health problems, or complex social and family issues.
Being ‘in debt’ is often misunderstood, the assumption being that an individual has overspent or been profligate and is therefore somehow to blame for their own situation. That is not Crosslight’s experience. Their clients are some of the most economically disadvantaged and vulnerable in our communities. Their debts have mostly arisen not because of borrowing they have taken on, but because of essential bills like rent, gas and electricity they are unable to afford.
Crosslight’s focus is not only on helping clients out of a short-term crisis but also empowering them to take back control of their financial situation. Crosslight’s service is completely free, and offers face-to-face advice, money education and ongoing support to anyone who needs it, regardless of background or circumstance.
CFEO Update - January 2016
CFEO is excited about 2016. We will be focussing on London and are looking forward to building stronger relationships with prisons, churches and other organisations who are passionate about supporting ex-offenders as they reintegrate into society.
Any church interested in developing their own ex-offender ministry is welcome to come and visit us to see how we support ex-offenders and discuss the challenges and practicalities involved.
As we create new resources based on our model and training, we will upload them on to the website. Please do get in contact and let us know of particular areas that it would be helpful to address.
We look forward to continuing working together to support ex-offenders and reduce re-offending.