Caring for Ex-Offenders (CFEO) was founded by Reverend Paul Cowley MBE in October 2004. When confronted with the reality of dealing with an ex-offender, many churches felt they were not equipped for the task. The Alpha Course has been running in prisons since 1995 and many men and women who came to faith in prison then looked to the local church for support on release. A need was identified to support men and women effectively as they faced the daunting challenge of reintegrating into society having been in prison.
As well as the need to connect men and women with supportive churches upon release, there is also a need to equip and educate churches about what it means to care for ex-offenders, both practically and spiritually.
‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
CFEO’s London-focused ministry is based at Holy Trinity Brompton, enabling us to address the local needs of our community. The Caring for Ex-Offenders work at HTB serves as a usable ‘come and see’ model that can be adapted and incorporated into other churches. We offer support to churches who are developing self-sustainable prison and ex-offender ministries in their own communities.
CFEO at HTB connects ex-offenders to both HTB and other London churches. We train and equip volunteer church teams to walk alongside ex-offenders both in prison and after release. Our mentors are trained to help ex-offenders address practical, spiritual and social needs and to lovingly persevere with them through the journey of reintegration into society.