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Christians Against Poverty appoints new CEO

The BBC's Paula Stringer has succeeded Matt Barlow as chief executive officer of CAP

The chief executive officer of Christians Against Poverty, Matt Barlow, has announced that he is set to leave the charity next year.

After more than 20 years at the forefront of helping those in debt and poverty across the UK, he will become the leader of the church he attends with his family in Bradford.

Paula Stringer, who joined as executive director a year ago from a senior role at the BBC, has stepped into his shoes as UK CEO

Both have sensed a calling from God to take on the new roles and the charity trustees were unanimous that Paula was perfectly placed to take CAP’s vision into the future.

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The trustees said in a joint statement that they were grateful for Matt’s dedicated service: Through Matt’s leadership, God has grown CAP from a few churches wanting to help their communities to an international ministry, touching tens of thousands of people’s lives. Matt’s ability to cast vision, set culture, mobilise people and maintain strong spiritual leadership have been his hallmarks and we know they will be put to very good use as a church leader.”

Speaking about Paula’s appointment, they said: Paula joined CAP in a senior role last year after an extensive search process and has already established strong relationships within our Bradford HQ and partner church network. Paula’s infectious enthusiasm for CAP’s work and her considerable strategic skills gained from the successful management of a large organisation have already proved highly beneficial. We’re excited to work with her, John and the core team to see CAP’s next chapter unfold.”

Matt will serve at CAP until March 2020 to ensure a smooth transition while John Kirkby will continue in his role as founder, supporting Paula and lending his pioneering energy and experience to CAP overseas.

Matt said he would be emotional to leave after so many years but felt the timing was perfect. When I joined CAP more than 20 years ago, I was expecting to be here for a few years before moving onto church leadership. It’s been an incredible experience to watch God at work through CAP. Personally, it’s a big deal to be walking away, but I know it will be in very safe hands. Paula has been an absolute dream to work alongside this past year and I’m looking forward to seeing all that God has in store for all of us.” He will become leader of the Light Church, a church he began with John Kirkby in 2008.

Paula thanked Matt for his decades of service and added: I’m incredibly excited to be heading up this amazing charity which is so needed by the people we serve and whose cause is very close to my heart. In the past year, it’s been my privilege to get to know an incredibly committed team and I’m looking forward to meeting more of our frontline heroes in our partner churches. We have a lot to do and I’m grateful for everyone’s support and prayers. CAP’s heartfelt mission has always been to share the love of Jesus through the local church and this will continue to be at the driving force of all that the charity does.”

CAP reported earlier in the year that those being helped by the charity have increasingly severe and complex situations and that the generosity of supporters is needed more now than ever. 

To help the work of Christians Against Poverty see: capuk​.org/​g​e​t​i​n​v​olved

About the author

Former newspaper journalist, Marianne Clough has worked as national PR manager at CAP for nearly 10 years. Her hobbies include talking to strangers and collecting people.

See more from Marianne Clough

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