A message from Paula Stringer

Feb 11, 2021 by

from Christians Against Poverty:

As we share the news that, 25 years after founding the charity, John Kirkby is moving on from his role here at CAP UK, I want to take a moment to express my admiration and gratitude for the incredible legacy he will leave.

I have had a passion for the work of Christians Against Poverty for many years, so after joining the organisation in 2018, it was an incredible privilege to be asked to take over running the organisation just over a year ago. My own personal experience of debt and some extremely difficult challenges really solidified my belief in, and passion for, the work that CAP does.

My story

A few years ago, my husband Dan and I owned a deli, coffee shop and restaurant in Marple. I was working for the BBC at the time but when the recession hit, despite our best efforts, the business didn’t make it. Debts sprang up from every angle, we had to let our amazing staff go, and Dan was completely broken. Our only option was to go through bankruptcy.

Sadly, Dan ended up very, very poorly and unable to work for a whole year as he recovered. It was a really difficult time for all of us and I could have never anticipated the impact this would have on our marriage, our family, or our relationships.

There was a key moment during our recovery when we realised that, if this had been so incredibly difficult for us, even though we had my Christian family supporting us, a local church family praying and rallying round and an income coming in, then how on earth did anyone who didn’t have these things ever get through it? We realised the enormous impact debt has on people’s lives and knew that, if we could, we wanted to do something to help. We had no idea what though at that time. As usual, God did!

There were times where I thought Dan and I were going to get to breaking point, it was so hard, but God did get us through it. The experience gave me an understanding of the true trauma of debt. The shame, and how judged you feel as a person just going through those kinds of things and how hard it is – I’ve lived it.

Read here

Read also: Did we witness social action / evangelism ‘holy grail’ on BBC documentary? by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream

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