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Christians Against Poverty 

Christians Against Poverty

CAP is a debt-relief charity, started in 1996 by John Kirkby, which has since risen to be one of the most respected in the UK. It has almost 300 debt centres based at local churches right across the UK, with a vision to open a total of 500 services (debt, Job Club, Fresh Start, etc.) to reach the entire nation.  It empowers local churches to reach out to their neighbourhood with practical debt help and the love of Jesus. It also helps people learn budgeting skills through its CAP Money Course, running in over 1000 churches. It also runs CAP Job Clubs to help people back into work, and Fresh Start to help people with life-controlling addictions.

Whitehaven’s CAP Centre opened in May 2013, the third one in the county.  The centre is based at Cornerstone Christian bookshop in town, but is run by St John's which has partnered with other local churches to offer support and help to those in the grip of debt in the Whitehaven area.  The CAP Whitehaven Church Partnership Group includes:

  • St. John’s, Hensingham
  • St. Andrew’s, Mirehouse
  • St. Bridget’s, Moresby
  • Woodbank Community Church, Woodhouse
  • New Life Church, Whitehaven
  • Emmanuel Church, Moor Row
Jonathan CAPThe aim of the Partnership Group is to support the CAP Centre, through prayer, finance and practical assistance. The Centre Manager is Jonathan Berry who, with the help of a team of befrienders, visits clients in their home.

Jonathan talks with the client about their situation, and communicates with CAP headquarters in Bradford. The team in Bradford negotiates with creditors and sets up a CAP account into which the client pays money. This account covers all the payments to creditors, but ensures there is an agreed amount left over for the client's day-to-day living expenses.

According to their situation, the client will be given a timescale to becoming debt-free (usually within 5 years) as long as they stick to the plan. The Befriender stays in contact with the client, helping and supporting them right through the time it takes to reach debt-freedom.

How good is CAP’s service? 

  • 94% of clients described the service as 'life transforming' or 'a great help'
  • In 2018 over 2500 clients were helped to debt freedom!
  • In 2018 nearly 6000 people learnt how to budget more effectively for their household through the CAP Money Course
  • In 2018, wonderfully, 885 people found a new life in Christ after working with one of CAP’s services.
  • Martin Lewis (of Money Saving describes CAP’s service as “the best in the UK”.


Q. Do I have to be a Christian?
A. No, CAP’s industry-leading service is available to everybody, no matter what their religious beliefs.

Q. Does it cost anything?
A. No, CAP’s service is completely free for clients, although you may be so delighted with it that you’d like to see other families being helped in the same way by giving a donation (there is no obligation to do this).


How to get in touch

If you are in debt, you’ve come to the right place. To book an appointment, please phone our Client Enquiries team FREE* on 0800 328 0006

* Calls are free from most landlines. Mobile operators may charge for calls to 0800 numbers. If you have inclusive minutes in your mobile phone tariff, please call 01274 760839 to avoid any charge for calls to non-geographic numbers.

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