The Caring For Life projects can be broken down into two main areas, housing and daytime activities. The Caring For Life Daytime projects, based at their headquarters on a farm in Cookridge, are very significant in helping vulnerable people to achieve a settled, constructive lifestyle. The two housing projects they run provide support and care for as long as the person wishes and needs. This helps to establish genuine emotional security which many of those in our care will never have known.
Thirty years ago Peter Parkinson, a Baptist minister in Leeds, and members of his congregation were faced with a challenge to their faith that would change lives forever. Several homeless young men started attending Leeds Reformed Baptist Church. This plunged some of the Church Members into a whole new form of outreach. They were challenged to follow Jesus’ example of reaching out to those in need.
This is how Caring For Life began.
1987 A home was donated for the most vulnerable homeless young men attending the Church. Known as Carey House it was opened in order to share the love of Jesus, by offering security, safety, love and respect for the men for life, or as long as they wished to stay.
Crag House Farm became the base for daytime activity projects, a place where vulnerable, socially excluded people could begin to re-build their lives. One of the first projects was with a flock of free range hens; since then agricultural, horticultural, conservation, art and craft and woodwork projects have developed, along with adult literacy, office skills, music and drama.
Caring For Life‘s ministry grew rapidly and for a time it was also involved in setting up children’s homes in Romania, through CFL International. CFL was asked to help to share Jesus’ love in a land where much persecution and great suffering had been the order of the day. These homes are not run by CFL now, but are still much-needed and functioning.
The Fresh Expressions movement began with the 2004 Mission Shaped Church report prepared by an Ecumenical group and published by the Church of England. Reflecting a growing number of re-imagined church communities the report suggested a recognition and provision for those seeking to work with changing culture and those not yet attending church.
Fresh Expressions is now an ecumenical movement made up of partners and associates. It’s a registered charity and limited company under the leadership of a board of trustees drawn from its partner organisations. Our board of Trustees is led by Rev Martyn Atkins.
Fresh Expressions is funded by its partner organisations, by grant funding from trusts and funds and by donations from individuals.
Church Action on Poverty is a national ecumenical Christian social justice charity, committed to tackling poverty in the UK. We work in partnership with churches and with people in poverty themselves to find solutions to poverty, locally, nationally and globally.