The Shrewsbury Christian Centre Association is a Registered Charity (No 1163476 ), established by volunteers in 1972 to provide a focal point for the work of all Christian groups in Shrewsbury and to offer aid to those in need. The services that SCCA provides are offered, regardless of religious beliefs, sexuality, race, gender or socio-economic status.
The first Day Centre was first opened by volunteers on the site of Old St Chad’s Church every evening from 7 – 9 pm and (for a short while until lack of volunteers forced a change) on Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons. The facilities at Old St Chad’s were not ideal, with no heating, water, lavatory, or privacy for those seeking help, but in 1973 the Association was offered the use of a small flat in the Town which allowed its work to expand. Briefly, in 1975, the Association was able to use the basement of a private house to give overnight accommodation to two or three homeless men.
In the 90s and until 2006 the Charity ran a Night Shelter for homeless men close to the centre of the Town – first in the Old School House beside the Welsh Bridge, and later at 70 Castle Foregate where there was space for up to 12 residents and vacancies were filled almost immediately.
Unfortunately, our funding from Government, through the ”Supporting People” programme, was withdrawn in 2006 and the cost of providing overnight supervision on the premises every night became prohibitive; we had no option but to close the Shelter.
After the Shelter closed, we decided our efforts should be focussed on providing a Day Centre for homeless and vulnerable people, a project that would in some respects return the Charity to its roots.
The Shrewsbury Ark was offered premises at 10 Castle Foregate in 2008, and while the charity was grateful for council support with these premises, the building size and layout did not allow for the expansion of services required to meet the growing needs of the local community.
Trustees took the decision to raise funds to purchase a property, which was found in the form of an old pub called the Rock & Fountain, just a little way along the street at 32 Castle Foregate in 2020 and moved in to the refurbished building in February 2022.
The Charity is run by a small group of volunteer Trustees on Christian principles, and some of the visionaries who inaugurated it in 1972 are still in touch with us. They have warmly encouraged us in our efforts to create a day centre for the needy, in which advice and help can be offered to anyone who is homeless, vulnerable or friendless.
We continue to receive wonderfully generous donations from a wide range of individuals, from many local churches and occasionally from Trust Funds. But our success in the future will depend on how well we can expand this support base to generate the income we need to keep the project open into the distant future.
To view our safeguarding policy please click here.
The Shrewsbury Christian Centre Association
Registered Charity No 1163476
Chair: Emily Bell
Hon Treasurer: Jane Shaw