Crisis Centre Ministries was set up in Bristol in 1984 by Derek Groves. Over the years, it has used many different approaches to reach the most needy members of our society, but the main areas of work today are described below.
To impact the community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to bring people to wholeness and help them rebuild their lives and at the same time, offer training for churches, individuals and other organisations in Bristol and elsewhere.
Crisis Centre Ministries operates a Coffee Shop called 'The Wild Goose' (until 2002 it was 'The Missing Peace').
The purpose of the coffee shop setting is to provide a place that is warm and friendly with a relaxed atmosphere. It looks from the outside like a regular coffee shop, but the staff and volunteers are there to offer help and support to anyone in need as well as providing coffee, tea, hot meals and snacks to the homeless, unemployed etc.
Over the years we have developed a place that is non-threatening, that doesn't have the connotation of a 'drop-in centre' or 'advice centre'. It's a coffee shop, and people can use it as such, but they also know that they can find help for whatever problem that is disrupting their life - or simply for relaxation: to meet friends or just to have a friendly chat.
We also offer a training course for homeless people. Started in 1990, it was one of the first pre-employment courses in the country. Although many other similar courses have been started since then, we still cater for people who cannot or will not benefit from any other programme.
Many people find Jesus attractive, but church turns them off. Much of what happens in normal church services is strange to people who are not familiar with the culture and expected behaviour that goes with being 'in church'.
We aim to provide an experience of Christian worship and teaching that is accessible to people from the street - something that is culturally relevant, where they belong instead of feeling themselves to be outsiders. This can then form a bridge into the more mainstream churches in Bristol.