Christians Against Poverty founder John Kirkby steps down after 25 years

John Kirkby, founder of CAP

John Kirkby, founder of debt relief charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP), is saying goodbye after 25 years. 

From humble beginnings in 1996, the charity has grown to an international agency, with branches in Australia, the US and Canada. 

Its network extends to 580 churches, while the work of the organisation has also grown to offer a number of initiatives all designed to help people break free from unmanageable debt, including the CAP Money Course, CAP Job Clubs and CAP Life Skills groups. 

Kirkby will officially leave his role at the end of June and take a sabbatical with his wife Lizzie to discern what they might do next.

"Whilst I'm leaving my role at CAP UK, I will always be the charity's founder and my heart to see CAP grow and play its part in seeing God's kingdom advance will never leave," he said.

"I'm delighted to look at the organisation CAP is now and wholeheartedly know that I have played the part I was called here to do.

"I see an organisation made up of people who are strong in mission and faith, ablaze with passion and overflowing with compassion for those they help."

CAP Patron the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has offered his prayers and "warmest wishes" to Kirkby as he steps down. 

"John's religious conviction and passion for financial justice has been the driving force for an organisation which has grown exponentially since its inception and helped thousands of people free themselves from the prison of debt," he said. 

Paula Stringer, the new CAP CEO, paid tribute to Kirkby's dedication over the years.

"There is no doubt that John's personal commitment and sacrifice in the past 25 years have genuinely been life-saving for countless people in the UK and beyond," he said.

"God put something special within John. He gave him a passion for the poor and an entrepreneurial spirit. The sheer grit and determination, the unseen hours, the prayer and faith in the face of situations that looked impossible.

"Although CAP may look different now to ten years ago, and different again ten years from now, those foundation remains the same: we are an organisation of people who are willing to walk that rocky path for the sake of those who need us."