By the 1980s, St. Paul’s Church was in a sorry state of deterioration. The last service was held in 1986, but alongside other church buildings that were once thriving places of spiritual and community activity, the world had altered and yet many impressive and much loved buildings remained...
A group of young and committed Christians led by the late John Macallum saw the opportunity to pick up the mantle of the past and ensure that St. Paul’s continued its mission to serve Crewe. They successfully acquired the building and formed a new charity, fondly known as ‘3Cs’, Crewe Christian Concern.
St. Paul’s quickly developed a furniture recycling scheme to provide hard-pressed households with free or very low cost furniture. A cycle workshop was soon developed and a team of volunteers worked faithfully to serve their local community, moving, sorting and delivering vast quantities of furniture. John had a young family and for several years took no salary, sacrificing immense amounts of energy and time to this vision.
In the 1990s and onwards, the charity flourished under a new CEO, Rob Wykes.
St. Paul’s Centre continued its work with furniture and developed a Cycle Project that has helped many into work and improved their health. When it was clear that people needed food to help them out of financial difficulties and get them on their feet, St. Paul’s Pantry was born. In addition, Rob developed a service for adults with additional needs, a gardening project, office space for meetings, and many, many other ventures.
Within his tenure Rob articulated what remains the platform for St. Paul’s Centre:
‘Hope, Confidence, Opportunity Dignity’
Driven by these aspirations and by a solid Christian basis, St. Paul’s continues to thrive. Led by a new CEO, a committed team of trustees, experienced and energetic staff and hard-working volunteers, St. Paul’s Centre continues what John and Rob began. Far more importantly than any personality, we continue to meet local need relating to Furniture and Food. During the pandemic we developed several new services including Sal's Shoes for children, Café on the corner and the Extra Miles hospital discharge service.
Whether ‘3Cs’, as its still known by some, or by its projects which directly meet the needs of households and families in our local community, St. Paul’s is thriving and optimistic about its future.
There has never been a reason to change our aim and values: Opportunity, Confidence, Dignity and Hope because these are needed by all of us. In times of need these can be found through what St. Paul’s is and through the many things it continues to do.
Richard Holmes ~ CEO