Calvary International Christian Centre (CICC) is a vibrant apostolic church in the centre of Leeds whose mission is to spread God’s word and have a positive impact in the community.
It was founded in 2011 by Reverend Christopher Wilson Andoh, his wife Gloria and their friend and missionary Peggy Sowah who brought the idea over from their native Ghana. Back then, the church had just seven members, as Reverend Andoh, minister of CICC explains:
“Initially we were door knocking, handing out leaflets and preaching in the streets to get the word out. We were meeting in our front room to start with, but soon outgrew it.”
By 2012, CICC had around 100 members and had started renting the Methodist Church building on Cardigan Road, but the long term plan was for CICC to buy.
“We wanted to do something long term because CICC is not just a church, it is a community outreach project. We offer help to homeless people, young people, older people, vulnerable women, the unemployed – it is everything rolled into one.”
“We offer help to homeless people, young people, older people, vulnerable women, the unemployed – it is everything rolled into one.”
Reverend Andoh, minister of CICC
Luckily, The Methodist Church agreed to sell at a lower than market rate because they were keen for the church to remain a church, and CICC approached three High Street banks for a loan.
“We had everything agreed with one of the High Street banks, and in the 11th hour they pulled out. We then had just 10 days to secure funding. We were put in touch with Triodos Bank; they came out to see us, were impressed with our plans, and made a quick decision to help us.”
Revered Andoh says not only is CICC thankful to Triodos for lending the money, but is also, very proud to be part of the Triodos mission.
“It is fantastic to finally have a base that we can call our own and we are so grateful to Triodos for turning it all around so quickly; knowing that the interest we are paying is going towards helping other similar projects is a bonus.
“With the new building we have enough room to be able to offer a whole range of different services. Eventually, we hope to have our own, purpose built community centre and Triodos has already expressed a desire to help us with that when the time comes.”
“With the new building we have enough room to be able to offer a whole range of different services. Eventually, we hope to have our own, purpose built community centre and Triodos has already expressed a desire to help us with that when the time comes”
Reverend Andoh, minister of CICC
What sets CICC apart is its mission; not only is the church dedicated to God, but it is also dedicated to its local community, and is determined to have a positive impact.
“We plan to expand our services to help more and more people. We will soon be doing a clothes sale where homeless people can buy clothes that have been donated for whatever they can afford. They may have an armful and pay just 50p, but the idea is to give them a sense that they are not just being handed it for free.”
CICC will also run sessions to help people find housing, write CVs and complete job applications. Members of the congregation with their own businesses will also be providing on-the-job training for free.
Matt Boggan from Triodos said: “We were delighted to be able to help CICC out, especially when they had been so badly let down by another bank. CICC is making a huge difference in Leeds, and we are happy to be a part of the mission.”
Words: Rachel Mason
Calvary International Christian Centre is a group of churches founded by missionary couple Reverend Christopher Wilson and Gloria Andoh and their friend and fellow missionary Peggy Sowah. CICC is not just a place of worship, its a community outreach project offering help and support to the homeless, unemployed, young people, older people and vulnerable women. It’s mission is spread the CICC word across the country and founding more CICCs to help people in need all over the UK.
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