CARE Timeline

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1971

  • Nationwide Festival of Light (NFOL) Trafalgar Square – 35,000 people

During the 1960s several laws were passed, radically altering traditional British culture. Many Christians recognised that our Judeo-Christian heritage was being eroded. As the UK's ‘permissive society’ moved away from the Bible, church attendance declined and faith was no longer centre stage. In response, the NFOL was organised, drawing people from all corners of the country to stand for God’s righteousness and grace. It was the largest outdoor gathering of Christians ever recorded in the UK.

1980

  • Move to offices in the vicarage of Christchurch, in Mayfair

After the NFOL events in London and elsewhere, a committee was set up to work through some of the issues of concern. From cramped basement offices, a small team began to contact Christians and others in Parliament, seeking to campaign on: Religious Education in schools, abortion, the spread of pornographic material, the importance of marriage and family and other matters.

1981

  • Lyndon Bowring becomes Chairman of NFOL

1983

  • Lyndon Bowring, in partnership with Charlie Colchester, launches CARE

Lyndon - an ordained minister, and Charlie - from a business background, began to develop this work. As NFOL was re-launched as CARE – Christian Action Research and Education, thousands of people supported the fledgling organisation and CARE’s influence began to grow.

1985

  • Death of CARE’s Director Dr Raymond Johnston

A university lecturer in the north of England, Raymond was invited to work with NFOL in London. He was described as ‘a prophet, able to look at the times and say, “There’s something wrong here and we need to change”. Very well read, extremely intelligent and deeply committed to the Church of England, journalists found in Raymond a ready source of telling quotes, whenever they called on CARE to comment on a current issue.' He died quite suddenly in his early sixties.

1986

  • Launch of CARE’s Homes Programme

CARE set up a nationwide network of Christians offering short-term accommodation, hospitality and support to people in need. At its peak, the Homes Programme had over 400 households on its books, 300 co-ordinators giving advice and a range of counselling courses. The Programme continued until 2001. It then developed into CARE's Caring Services - providing advice and information through the Carelink database and connecting people in need to those who could help.

1987

  • CARE for Scotland and CARE in Wales

The late George Russell became CARE’s honorary director in Scotland, helping to develop the work north of the border, supported by the 2,000 Scottish Christians on CARE’s mailing list. Similar work was begun in Wales the same year.

CARE moved into new offices on Romney Street, just a stone’s-throw from the Houses of Parliament. Today they house 22 members of staff and provide a venue for many strategic meetings

1992

  • CARE for Europe

Iain Wright – an ordained minister, became the first ever full-time evangelical Christian lobbyist in Brussels. He pioneered CARE’s work in the European Parliament and built lasting networks of Christian politicians and others across the continent.

For fifteen years, this department of CARE trained hundreds of Christians to be effective school governors, helped to shape the curriculum and produced ground-breaking sex education materials. The Schools Prayer Network encouraged people to pray for local schools and in 2009 became Pray for Schools www.prayforschools.org

1999

  • evaluate programme launches

evaluate - a relationships and sex education programme reflecting a biblical view of the value and worth of each individual, was launched and began to be delivered by teams of volunteers in schools.

2001

  • CARE Remand Fostering Scheme

CARE’s Remand Fostering Scheme was a positive alternative to detention for those on remand before their cases came to court.This initiative offered young offenders a short-term stay with a Christian family, along with 24-hour emergency back-up, and regular contact with caring professionals; it helped turn many of their lives around.
Cornerstone was also supported by CARE, providing long-term fostercare for groups of siblings in the north of England.

2004

  • Nola Leach becomes CEO of CARE

After heading up Caring Services in CARE’s Scotland offices, Nola Leach re-located to London to lead CARE.

2006

  • CARE’s fight against human trafficking begins

Few were aware of the tragedy of human trafficking and consequent exploitation back in 2006. CARE was one of the first organisations to start to raise awareness, bring agencies together and try to persuade the government to take action.

2013

  • CARE celebrates its 30th anniversary

Thirty years on, CARE had established a reputation in Parliament for professional, balanced briefings and research. With 35,000 addresses on the mailing list, it was regarded by church leaders and individual Christians as a trustworthy organisation - standing for truth and compassion, and facilitating people to understand and engage with CARE’s causes.