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Alabare history timeline

Our history

Since our charity was founded in 1991 by John and Alicia Proctor and the Alabaré Christian Community we have grown to now support thousands of people each year across our region.

Like all things in life, sometimes our charity has expanded in response to need, sometimes to opportunity, but always with the belief that everyone in our society should have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life of their choosing, and we strive to do whatever we can to help them achieve this.

We work with other charities and our statutory partners to offer a pathway of services that help people who are homeless or vulnerable move forward in their lives.  We deliver contracted services for some local authorities, and we have also created bespoke activities and programmes of support or training which we see as integral in helping people achieve their goals, improve wellbeing and break the cycle of homelessness for good.

Our charity was born out of the vision of our founders but the generosity of supporters. Everything we have and continue to achieve is rooted in the caring people who help fund our work, and who stand with us in the belief that everyone should enjoy a bright future, homes and minds.

Rev John Proctor OBE and his wife Alicia

by Reverend John Proctor, Alabaré Honorary President

In 1985, in the early days of the Alabaré Christian Community, we moved to Wilton and established an ecumenical House of Prayer.  We had not been around very long when we received a phone call from the local Baptist minister asking if we could provide accommodation for a homeless man.

My first reaction was one of total surprise and I was lost for words.  I recall asking, “Why us?”   The response came, “Well, you are a Christian Community, aren’t you?” This had never been a part of our vision but we wanted to be truly ecumenical and work with the local Christian churches so I heard myself saying “Yes.”

My wife came alongside and started asking me questions, so I enquired a little further. To my horror, I discovered that this homeless man was an alcoholic man of the road.  I immediately retorted, “Well, aren’t you a Christian Community?” – meaning his church – and he said, “Well, yes, but we have all tried these past two years, and no one else is prepared to do any more”.  You can imagine I felt even worse about what I was committing my family to.  I immediately began searching for excuses as to why it was not suitable.  We had three young children, all under five. We were both working full-time. We had no experience in this area.

In the end, we took Bob in to live with us – on the one condition: he would not drink while he was with us. Bob spent two years with us, on and off, and became a great friend of the children. We discovered he was just another man with a fist full of problems. On a good day, he was great; on a bad day, it was difficult.  Eventually, Bob moved on to a treatment centre.

Within a week, we were asked to take in an expectant mother, Mary, whose husband had been sent to jail. And so it continued until we felt we could do no more. Our jobs and our family were too demanding to afford the time that was necessary. After a year of prayer and reflection, we embarked on an appeal to raise the funds to buy a home in which we could accommodate these referrals.  That was the birth of Alabaré Christian Care Centres, which later became Alabaré Christian Care & Support.

Had we known at any stage along the journey what was in store for us, we would certainly have said no at every step. Why? We would not have felt qualified. We would not have the time. But looking back, God has journeyed with us every step of the way, and we can see his hand at work in the lives of so many people whom we have helped – and who have helped us.

“I was in a really bad place when I met you. I was only 21 and I didn’t know what to do. Being pregnant was scary enough, but with my husband in prison, and being evicted from our home, I didn’t know where to turn. I had no family and no money. But you took me in and gave me that lifeline. Now my son is grown up and has a family of his own, his own house and a good job. Alabaré gave me the strength and hope to realise that I could take control of my life and build a future for myself.” Mary

Latest news

Here, you can find all the latest news stories from across the Aabaré services dedicated to homeless adults, young people, veterans and those with learning disabilities.

Alabare Boots on the Ground veterans in Gibraltar at Lord Airey's Battery
Display of paintings and drawings created by Burnbake Prison Art Project

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