Helping people is what drives us
Contents Executive summary
GROWING IN ENGLAND How it all began
Statement of faith
Power of prayer
Training and work of the clergy
Investors in people
TRANSFORMATION OF LIVES Aaron How
RESTORATION AND CONSERVATION Heritage enrichment
Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park
Cannon Cinema, Catford
Rye Lane, Peckham
The National, Kilburn
What others say about us
Objectiveness in Spirit The UCKG HelpCentre’s objective is to advance the Christian faith by words and deeds. We believe that God’s love has to be shown in practice, and the best way to do that is by helping those who are in need. The Charity has rapidly grown since it was set up in the UK in 1995, where it now has 27 HelpCentres open 7-days-a-week. Each centre offers a minimum four daily services and remains open throughout the day and evening as a drop-in facility for the community. Full-time and parttime staff, including pastors and assistant pastors, are available all day for advice, evangelistic meetings, as well as home, hospital and prison visits, and other associated religious services and community groups. The UCKG HelpCentre has earned a respected reputation in the UK as a Church, as a positive force in the community, and also as an excellent organisation. The Charity conducts its business affairs under
the guidance and assistance of professional advisors such as Barclays Bank Plc, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain and HowardKennedy Fsi (solicitors), Savoy Stewart and GVA (chartered surveyors), and Baker Tilly (auditors). In 2005 the UCKG HelpCentre was awarded the prestigious “Investors in People” mark for its commitment to developing its staff delivering a high standard of service to the community. In July 2006 the Church held its largest event in the UK so far, at the West Ham Football Stadium. Over 18,000 people were in attendance on the day. More recently, in September 2013 the Church held a unique event at the prestigious Wembley Arena focusing on the subject of love-life and relationships. The event sold out the Wembley Arena capacity and welcome thousands of new comers that received assistance and guidance to overcome problematic relationships and marriages that were in the brink of divorce. The Charity employs local people to
4 conduct its administrative affairs. There are currently 80 employees working in various administration positions in the organisation â€“ from telephone operators to builders to web designers â€“ all drawn locally from the UK workforce. These people provide support for the main work of the Charity, which is carried out by the pastors and assistant pastors. The Church currently has 80 pastors and assistant pastors doing its religious work in the UK. These are also assisted by an average 380 volunteers. More detailed information about the Church and its activities in the
UK can be found in this portfolio. If you require information not included here, please do no hesitate to contact the appropriate church representative as shown on page 5.
In 1996, the now fully restored and enhanced iconic former Rainbow Theatre was acquired and rescued by the UCKG HelpCentre, after ten years of neglect.
Bishop Celso Junior
Pastor Carlos Oliveira
Pastor Carlos Oliveira
Growing in England
How it all began The arrival and early days of the charity in the United Kingdom, its belief system and particular operational structure that have proven attractive to the suffering and less favoured members of societies in over 100 countries worldwide. The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG HelpCentre), originally from Brazil, where it was formed in 1977, started working in the United Kingdom in 1995. Initially it had two services a week at St Matthews’ church in Brixton. As interest grew and attendance rose, within the year the first dedicated UCKG HelpCentre opened in Brixton. In 1996, the UCKG HelpCentre acquired the derelict Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park. Initially there was no heat or light in the building, but that did not deter the growing congregation from attending daily services. The UCKG HelpCentre then embarked on a major renovation programme and associated fund-raising to start restoring
the Grade II* listed 1930s cinema to its former glory. The UCKG HelpCentre continues to expand its activities in the UK under the leadership of Bishop Celso Junior, who is supported by a team of 40 senior pastors plus administrative and pastoral support staff. Practical beliefs The UCKG HelpCentre believes strongly in ‘connecting directly to God without any formal religious ceremonies getting in the way’. We do not add or take away from the Bible but make it relevant and applicable to modern day life, so that it is more meaningful to members. The church is highly adaptive, listening to and identifying the needs of its members. This, combined with the Pentecostal belief system, means that UCKG HelpCentre members are likely to get more from their church. They benefit from practical help and guidance through the church’s many activities as well as prayer and spiritual support. Church Services The purpose of the church services is to recognise God’s power, good-
7 ness, generosity, and love for mankind and to pray for the congregationâ€™s needs to be met, both spiritually and physically. Services are informal and interactive. They are led by a bishop or pastor, assisted by other fully trained UCKG HelpCentre Pastors. Prayers are spoken aloud, not read from a prayer book. They come from the heart and are spontaneous, informal and relevant to the moment. While certain elements occur in most services, the order of the service is a direct result of the leading pastorâ€™s prayer and consecration to God. Weekday Services are to meet the specific needs of the congregation. A person faces daily problems
and sometimes finds it difficult to find someone who is able to lend a listening ear or a helping hand. Thus, we have four daily services for people to voice their worries and receive words of encouragement and practical advice from the Bible. Sunday Services are primarily to seek the Holy Spirit for the renewal of our spiritual strength. They also include Bible readings and prayer. The act of Communion is held every third Sunday of the month. On the next page you will find a full weekly schedule with details of every service held at HelpCentres nationwide.
UCKG HelpCentres open their doors daily from 6.30am up to 10pm where a team of pastors provide assistance to communities and passers-by, 365 days a year.
7am, 10am, 3pm & 7.30pm
7am, 10am, 3pm & 7.30pm
Discipleship - 10am
Prayer and faith-building meeting to offer support around financial issues.
Prayers promote physical wellbeing as a complement to doctorsâ€™ advice and treatments. 7am, 10am, 3pm & 7.30pm
WEDNESDAY Personal Growth
New insights from Godâ€™s Word, making the Bible relevant for today. Food for the spirit. 7am, 10am, 3pm & 7.30pm
Strong prayers with the laying on of hands for deliverance and spiritual protection.
Evangelism and outreach
Addiction Cleansing Therapy - 3pm
Help to breakfree from addictions and return to normal life.
Love Therapy - 7pm
Singles and engaged meeting
SUNDAY Empowerment - 9.30am also at 7.30am
Connecting with God, with the self, and with positive people.
Marriage and Family
Afternoon of Power - 4pm
Guidance and prayerful support for families in pain and turmoil, constant strife and the like.
Prayers to overcome problems people feel powerless against.
7am, 10am, 3pm & 7.30pm
Study of the Book of Revelation - 6pm
Statement of faith
A church in the Pentecostal tradition The UCKG HelpCentre believes that the human trinity - body, soul and spirit - have essential and distinctive needs. Finding the balance between them and meeting each need is the secret to a happy life. We are committed to helping people discover their potential and live life to the full - both here and in the afterlife and to connect to God directly without depending on any religion. We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in their original writings as fully inspired by God and accept them as the Supreme and Final Authority for faith and life. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons â€“ Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born by the Virgin Mary and is true God
and true Man. We believe that God created man in His own image; that man sinned and thereby incurred the penalty of death, physical and spiritual; that all human beings inherit a sinful nature which causes actual transgression involving personal guilt. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, a substitution sacrifice according to the Scriptures and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. We believe in the body of resurrection of the Lord Jesus, His ascension into heaven and His present life as our High Priest and Advocate. We believe in the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. We believe that those who repent of their sins, receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith and hold fast to Him are born again by the Holy Spirit and become children of God.
10 We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, empowering believers for service, with accompanying supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit and in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. We believe in the divinely ordained ministries of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. We believe in the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the eternal blessings of the redeemed, and the eternal banishment of those who have rejected salvation. We believe that the one true Church consists of all those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit; that the local church on earth should take its character from this conception of the spiritual Church and therefore new birth and personal confession of the Christ are essential for church membership.
and blood of our Saviour in remembrance of His sacrifice until He comes. We believe that divine healing seen in the Old Testament and the New is an integral part of the Gospel. We believe the Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see God. We believe in sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of the new birth and continuing until the end of oneâ€™s life.
Nearly one hundred people embrace the Christian faith via baptism in water at HelpCentres nationwide every month.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ appointed two ordinances: baptism in water and the Lordâ€™s Supper, to be observed as acts of obedience and as a continual witness to the facts of the Christian faith; that baptism is the immersion of the believer in water as a confession of the Lord Jesus in burial and resurrection and that the Lordâ€™s Supper is the partaking of the body
Power of prayer We believe that prayer is effective in helping people to live better and happier lives, and that spiritual healing can result from prayer. Those who pray often seem to gain a sense of peace and communion with God and resolve their problems as a result. Prayer seems to work more quickly for some people than others â€“ depending on the individual, their faith and attitude towards God and prayer. A Chain of Prayer is encouraged as a starting point. The UCKG HelpCentre defines a Chain of Prayer as regular prayers over a period of at least seven weeks. Such prayer is usually undertaken in order to resolve some issue for the individual for whom the prayer is made. Chains of Prayer are made by the person seeking a solution in association with a pastor and members of the congregation. The UCKG HelpCentreâ€™s experience is that on average, people feel better during the course of a Chain of Prayer and that the optimum effect occurs within six months to about a year. All over the world, where HelpCentres are based, there is the same spirit of faith and motivation, where people are taught how to use
their faith and believe in the Gospel to achieve a successful and fulfilled life.
Training and work of the clergy Our bishops, pastors, assistant pastors, and assistants have been through personal life problems in the past before they started attending the church. Through the teaching and prayers they received at the UCKG HelpCentre, they used their faith and overcame these situations. They have all had a personal encounter with God and have undergone a transformation of self. UCKG HelpCentre clergy are normally recruited from within the congregation and are required to complete extensive training that can last up to five years. Each trainee pastor embarks on a programme of theoretical learning based on a Pentecostal syllabus as well as assisting a qualified pastor on a part-time basis. Later in the programme, the practical training progresses to helping the qualified pastor conduct the church services. Every pastor and assistant pastor usually conducts two services a day. Other duties include being on stand-by for drop-in spiritual advice and the provision of spiritual support.
Investors in people
The force behind the success The UCKG HelpCentre in the UK employs, overall, 157 people with a diverse range of people from different cultures, backgrounds and skills. The charity is governed by the Board of Trustees. The spiritual structure of our work, involving our Pastoral Ministry, consists of bishops, pastors, assistant pastors and trainee pastors. The operational and day-to-day management is co-ordinated by staff and volunteers employed locally. It is organised into departments covering the various areas of activity such as Finance & Administration, Property Acquisitions, Management & Development, Advertising & Media, Christian Bookshop and Training Centre.
UCKG HelpCentre. There is a clear distinction in roles and responsibilities of those employed to carry out the administrative and pastoral work. This separation enables our pastors to be focused on preaching the gospel without any other added administrative responsibilities. Our recruitment process is non-discriminating, providing equal opportunities to everyone who responds to our job advertisement. In our recruitment and selection, we always seek first to find people locally in the UK. On average, a team of 380 volunteers supports the work of the UCKG HelpCentre nationwide.
The work carried out by our pastors, staff and volunteers is invaluable and has contributed greatly towards the growth of the
Board of Trustees
North London Region
South London Region
East London Region
North West London Region
North England Region
Administrative structure Board of Trustees
Bishop Helpline Pastors & Assistants
Bishopâ€™s Office Personnel
Press, Legal & Property Acquisitions
Building & Maintenance
Accounts, Administration & Ancillary Trading
Architects & Builders
IT & Facilities Supervisor
Skill Advice Manager
Graphics & Web
Assets & Residential
TV Editorial & Productions Liberty Radio
Fleet & Stock Supervisor
Prayer Book & Mailing
Practical vision is our greatest strength The UCKG HelpCentre is an evolving church and organisation always on the look out for what will spark a change in a person’s life. Besides operating as a daily onestop spiritual help centre, we offer a range of practical support activities - faith orientated and secular - to meet the needs of all age groups and walks of life, and do not shy away from challenging situations. We have strong workers and volunteers and community focus. Through the years, we have found that the Christian faith can empower anyone who wants to have a life filled with great happiness and peace of mind, to live life to the full - to connect to God directly. People often underestimate the power they have when they live their faith. In the UK, divorce rates are increasing, total personal debt and unemployment growing, many are
living in constant fear, disillusioned and desperately trying to find a way out. Our mission therefore is to help people make a new beginning through the practice of the Gospel a message of hope and life. We try to provide practical help, combining it with faith and inspiration to those in need and despair. We help in practical ways and offer the following services regardless of age, race or religion: • Inspirational seminars and meetings that educate and encourage • One to one spiritual advice • Life coaching • Career and relationship guidance • Personal attention in crisis situations at home • Skills and learning training centres • 24-hour helpline.
16 One of the challenges we face in society today is how to respond to the multi-faith environment. The question many of us need to address is: How do we relate to people of a different faith and those of no faith at all? People are constantly seeking for a solution to their problems. We know there are no quick fixes. Tackling one dimension in isolation won’t work; tackling every dimension simultaneously seems impossible. Herein lies our challenge: to prove the power of God by mobilising one’s faith. Life changing events The UCKG HelpCentre has organised and conducted a number of major events where thousands of people from all backgrounds and walks of life converged to one big arena or HelpCentres nationwide on a given date and time. Signs, the biggest event held by the UCKG HelpCentre in the UK took place at the West Ham Stadium. On that Sunday, 18,000 people came together in West Ham’s football stadium. This was the first meeting of its kind in the UK. The event was for those who are in search of a better life for themselves, and for their families. People look for answers for their daily lives, homes, jobs, children, marriages, fears and worries. They look for a sign that brings direction and guidance. Some may even need a sign that God still cares…
The attendance at these events shows that the UCKG HelpCentre is providing a message that addresses the needs of individuals and families in the UK today.
The West Ham football stadium played host to a benchmark event for the UCKG HelpCentre.
Community events Aware of the individual needs of each community and society as a whole, the UCKG HelpCentre has teamed up with other organisations - governmental and otherwise - and registered charities to organise events that raise awareness and address these needs. Humanitarian appeals, Female and Male Cancer awareness, Teenage Pregnancy awareness, Homelessness appeals, Further Education awareness, High Blood Pressure testing and advice, HIV and STDs youth awareness, Seniors Pampering days, Anti-Female Abuse campaigns, Youth engagement, are but a few of the events we have hosted at our HelpCentres for the benefit of the wider community. The next page has a selection of pictures that illustrate these efforts.
Above: over 11 tonnes of saleable goods were collected for Oxfam in HelpCentres across the nation. Above: VYG members join forces with the Thames21 charity as part of We Care! - Youth Engagement event to help clear London’s waterways from invasive weeds and debris. Below: Sisterhood’s girls and big sisters at the ‘The Red House’ in Tottenham for a Seniors’ Pampering Day.
Left: 200 Londoners receive guidance and tips on how to boost their career prospects at the Better - Education Awareness event. Below: the Female Cancer Awareness event organised at the Finsbury Park HelpCentre attracted close to 500 women who received advice from an NHS gynaecologist.
18 Community Groups The UCKG HelpCentre takes the approach of forming groups as a way of engaging its members in lending a helping hand to the local community. The groups are formed to help specific areas of the community where people are suffering and struggling to find suitable help. Most members of these groups have either suffered themselves with problems similar to those of the people they aim to help and were successful in overcoming them or had a successful experience through a relative or friend. This experience coupled with the necessary training provided by the UCKG HelpCentre staff equips them to do much more than just giving moral support or encouragement to those who are suffering.
cluding IT training (CLAIT), English teaching for speakers of other languages (ESOL), access to Job Centres within those boroughs, and other support services. The Training Centre trains and equips users to be more competitive and skilled for the job market, with the intention of addressing their exclusion from the labour market. The Patient Care group is comprised of men and women who visit
The 24-hour helpline employs a full time manager and a team of part-time volunteers who work in shifts around the clock, seven days a week, all year long. They provide support for people troubled by loneliness, depression, and a myriad of other problems. All team members, that range in age from 20 to over 54, are fully trained in the necessary counselling skills by the UCKG HelpCentre. The Training Centre is an established project running since 1999 that provides vocational training to people residing in the various boroughs of London. These provide a range of courses in-
Patient Care groupâ€™s visits are often the only reason patients have to smile.
patients on a voluntary basis. Their aim is to help alleviate suffering both spiritually and physically. Members of the group visits patients regularly on any day of the week either at their home or in the hospital. They anoint and pray for them according to the Word of God.
19 The ROD (Rescue Of Dignity) group was established in 1997 and is totally made up of volunteers. Its aim is to help support prison inmates throughout the UK both spiritually and physically, through letter writing and regular visits. We offer a unique combination of spiritual and physical support. The ROD group is not about preaching to prisoners; itâ€™s about friendship, companionship, and empowerment. We work with inmates to understand the underlying factors that lead individuals to turn to crime and help them to embrace the concept of improving their role as a citizen in society. ROD also acts as a contact point with the outside world so that prisoners are not completely separated from everyday society. This is particularly effective for those whose family and friends have drifted away over the course of a long sentence. In many cases it has been found that when inmates develop their faith, they are empowered with higher self-esteem and their attitude towards themselves and others improves considerably. The Seniorsâ€™ group provides help and support through spiritual advice for the issues and situations that older members of society go through. This group also volunteers home help (e.g. shopping, house cleaning etc), in addition to activities such as dinners, dances and outings. Anyone aged 55 and over, who may find themselves isolated and alone, and/or those who simply enjoy socialising may join.
Seaside trips for the over 55s are events in the Seniorsâ€™ Group calendar that everyone looks forward to - both seniors and volunteers.
The RAHAB (Removing All Hurt And Abuse) group is set up to reach out to women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. Its aims are to help women by giving them a chance to express themselves and to provide practical advice on how to re-build their life as well as their families. This group provides monthly group sessions and one-to-one sessions (as often as required) on a weekly basis. The Lone Parents group was set up to address the issue of teenage pregnancy and single parenting that is increasing at an alarming rate in the UK. The group offers teenage mothers not only support and advice, but a place where they can speak openly to other teenage mothers who have been through the same experience and have managed to turn their situation around.
Youth programme The Victory Youth Group (VYG) is the UCKG HelpCentre’s youth ministry operating from each of its branches across the UK. The twice weekly meetings combine fun activities with practical teaching and spiritual development. With a regular attendance of over 400 young people at our centres every week, the VYG aims for continual growth both in quality and in quantity. Help is provided for young people of all ages to realise their full potential and to give them stimulating, constructive alternatives to hanging about on the streets. An important part of the VYG’s work is to provide a familiar place to which young people can turn for practical, moral and ethical advice and guidance. Spiritual counselling and mentoring are available throughout the week. The VYG engages in various activities and community work not only to give young people a sense of achievement but also to improve the environment around us. Community work The VYG is always looking to work in the community. It has previously organised anti-drugs and antiweapons marches with the support of the Met Police to raise awareness of the dangers of using both drugs and weapons.
Interactive meetings These are meetings where youths are not only taught but are also encouraged to voice their opinions and debate on topics and issues that affect and relate to them.
It has been very clear in our experience working with youngsters that they crave for an environment of inclusion where they are valued and challenged to do better in life.
Musical competitions and dramas The youth group takes part in different musical competitions such as Gospel T-Factor and the Friendship Musical. The VYG has staged dramas such as ‘Rusx: No Limits’ and ‘Decisions’ where hundreds of young people attended in London and at showings in other parts of the country. Sports and outings The VYG sports tournaments are one of the most exciting activities to take place in the youth group. There have been both football and basketball tournaments as well as athletics. Outings have included trips to Alton Towers, ice-skating, cinema, picnics and much more. There follows a selection of pictures illustrating the VYG activities.
Above: Race of Rides at Thorpe Park, a fun day with very deep meanings and collective lessons. Above: the VYG Walk in North London raised considerable interest from young passers-by.
Below: the ‘Alive Night Vigil’ gathered 800 youths from various locations nationwide. The emphasis was on developing a relationship with God to further their spiritual lives.
Left: singing performance at the ‘Where U Going?’ event at the Finsbury Park HelpCentre.
Below: a recent drama performance at the ‘Home Bitter Home’ event attended by youths, their parents and teachers.
Transformation of lives The boy from a broken home who mended his ways Aaron How’s problems started when his parents split up and the little boy that he then was tried to become the man of the house. His school days were dogged by anger, vandalism and exclusions from school, however the example of an ex-bad boy who had transformed his life set Aaron on the right path. Aaron writes: “I was about six years old when my parents broke up and this was the start of my problems. My grandma died, followed by my newborn little sister and because of this, I developed an uncontrollable anger inside me. There was nothing anyone could do to calm me down. I even lashed out in front of my mum and she broke down in tears. “I thought that I was older than I really was and would take reign and throw my weight around the house. It was as if there was a 27-year-old man trapped in my 7-year-old boy’s body. When I thought my mum had ‘misbehaved’ I hit her with a wooden spoon and locked her in
the bathroom. Soon I began to steal from local shops and became so much of a problem at school that I
Aaron How proudly poses the Notorious East Side Gang sign.
was excluded. “As I started secondary school I took up smoking and put my mum to further shame. I was constantly fighting and even broke into my old primary school to vandalise it. As I grew older I became affiliated to a
I was about six years old when my parents broke up... I developed an uncontrollable anger inside me... There was nothing anyone could do to calm me down. It was as if there was a 27-year-old man trapped in my 7-year-old boy’s body.
gang but I never caused any harm, I just wanted to attract the ladies. I would manipulate girls, use them and make them take pictures in their underwear. “However, this all changed after a youth I knew – Tiago – invited me to the Victory Youth Group (VYG). I was confused as he seemed completely different to the way he had been when he was one of the ‘olders’ who used to terrorise me. There had also been many times when I contemplated killing myself. I would often cry myself to sleep and wonder when it all would end, I felt so low. “At first I came to the VYG with my boys, but I didn’t take it seriously and it was a joke to me to be honest. Then I went on what turned
out to be the holiday from hell. I had numerous arguments with my family and when my anger got the better of me, my cousin and I got into a fight. I ended up assaulting my aunt as she tried to protect him. Returning home, the whole family’s mood was tense, all because of me. At school, things weren’t much better and again, due to my attitude, I was sent home.
Having overcome the imbalance in his life caused by his parents’ separation, Aaron (above right) now enjoys a different lifestyle, different attitude and looks forward to life.
“As one bad event followed another I decided that I’d had enough. I continued to attend the VYG, but it was no longer in vain; I gave my all and truly applied what I heard. Slowly, my attitude began to change and my family also saw the difference. “Now things are much better at home. I am a good example, and the relationship between my mum and me has improved. I no longer lash out and my grades at school are progressing.” Aaron How, 15 – Hackney
9 times more likely to commit crime are children from broken homes than those from stable families.
My friends controlled my life but no longer ‘Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are’ is a saying that many live by, and in the case of Asiphe Fipaza, it did not paint a pretty picture. She attempted to fight emptiness and loneliness with controlling friends who led her into destructive behaviour, but that has now changed.
To be honest I don't remember why I did this, but I hit the woman across her face with the heel of my shoe. To look ‘hard’ I then stood there until the police arrived. I was arrested and the woman pressed charges, but as this was my first offence I got off lightly. “Although I looked on top of the world to my friends, it was all pretence. In truth I was empty, lonely and looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
This is Asiphe’s story: “I was influenced by my friends and did whatever they said. I put them above my family because I valued them much more. They always wanted to go raving, but I knew that if I asked my mum, she'd probably say no, so I would disappear and go out without telling her. Often, she’d look for me or ask where I was going, but I would lie and say I was revising at a friend’s house when really I’d go raving. “With my friends I was that loud, bubbly, outgoing, confident, happy girl who was afraid of nothing. I was always up for a laugh and would do anything for a good time. There was even a time when I was arrested because I took ‘happy slaps’ to another level. “Coming back from a house party, I was walking home very drunk with a group of my friends, carrying my high-heeled shoes in my hand. There was a couple walking past us.
Following the crowd, Asiphe (left in picture) in a rave with her friends to fill the emptiness within.
“My mum invited me to the HelpCentre, but initially I wasn’t interested. What youth wants to go to church? However, I started attending the Victory Youth Group (VYG) to shut her up. One night, things got out of hand when I got into a
I was influenced by my friends and did whatever they said. I put them above my family... They always wanted to go raving... I looked on top of the world to my friends, it was all pretence. In truth I was empty, lonely and looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
fight with a friend and pulled out a chunk of her hair. I then decided that I had had enough! I didn’t want this kind of life anymore. I guess it's when you're at your lowest that you turn to God. “I started to take the VYG seriously, to listen to what was said and put it into practice. I cut off my friends because they were a bad influence on me. They couldn’t help when I was all empty inside, so what was the point? I stopped going to raves and no longer had anything to lie about. I overcame the insecurities that I used to cover up by being loud. Most importantly I stopped thinking I wasn’t good enough, fat and ugly. Now I love myself for who I am and I no longer have to pretend.
Happy and free to be herself, Asiphe, now a confident, peaceful individual who no longer resorts to violence to tackle her differences with others.
“Keep your head up. You are good enough. If you feel as if no one loves you, I can assure you that there’s someone who does — God!” Asiphe Fipaza, 19 – Cardiff
200+ women are arrested every day for violent crimes. Violent attacks by binge-drinking ‘ladettes’ have rocketed by more than half in the capital.
True friendship helps overcome the effects of bullying It’s bad when a mother and daughter are like two strangers in the same house, but that’s how it was for Jo-Anne Scrivener-Cox and her mum. Long term bullying was behind Jo-Anne’s problems and a call from a friend set her on the right road. Jo-Anne explains: “I had anger problems and because of this I would lash out at my mum. Things in my house were unbearable. There was constant shouting and no peace whatsoever. Eventually, my brother and sister couldn't take it any more and moved out.
“I started going to various parties and pub theme nights, copying my friends’ excessive drinking. I’d dress inappropriately just to fit in and to attract attention, but this was more a scream for help than doing what I wanted. “My outside was the complete opposite to my inside. Emptiness and lack of love at home, made me crave attention. Something I loved to do was flirt, so I became promiscuous but in the end I didn't want
“From primary school all the way through to college, I was bullied. I then saw that the way out was to become the bully and I adopted a completely new attitude. “I was so caught up in making a name for myself and having new friends because of what I did that I failed my A-levels. I was kicked out of college, and had to move on to a new one. “I always thought I was ugly and due to this I became very suicidal, but I never had the guts to kill myself. My mum and I were like two strangers living in the same house. We never had a relationship at all and would live in silence.
Jo-Anne goes from a victim of bullying to a bully herself, both at school and at a war torn home where constant arguments were the norm.
any part of it. “Nonetheless, this caused so many problems that I was nearly raped. “An effect of all this was that my friendships didn’t tend to last. However one formerly close friend
From primary school all the way through to college, I was bullied. I then saw that the way out was to become the bully and I adopted a completely new attitude. I started going to various parties... copying my friends excessive drinking.
that I had stopped speaking to called me out of the blue and invited me to the Victory Youth Group (VYG). “At first, I didn't know how to take this because we’d had no contact for a long time, but I accepted her invitation and went along. “At the VYG, I met other youths who had faced the same problems as me and overcome them. I heard messages, which made me believe that I could change too, and that I didn’t have to be the way I was or live the life I had been living. I learnt that I could be happy, so I continued going. “Today I am truly happy from within. It wasn’t hard for me to
drop the things that were no good for me because I learnt not to depend on them. “My mum also comes to the HelpCentre with me and our relationship is much better; there are no more dramatic fights. I respect her and things are improving.
Jo-Anne has managed to mend her relationship with her mother and distance herself from friends that only lead her further into destruction.
“Change isn’t easy, but looking back on how things were, there is a massive difference between what was and what is.” Jo-Anne Scrivener-Cox, 20 – East London
170,000 youngsters nationwide will reportedly be absent from school today because they are being bullied.
From violent juvenile to responsible professional
“I’ve even tried to strangle my sister several times, and I nearly stabbed a friend because he got in my face.
It is hard to imagine that this smart young man was once a violent juvenile. James Ahanonou, who is now a hard-working professional, explains his past bouts of anger and unruly behaviour and why he has given up such a ludicrous lifestyle.
“My brother used to be the same, but one day, when I came home to London, I saw a big change in him. To be honest, I thought it was a phase; but a year passed, and he was still different. He invited me to the HelpCentre, but I wasn’t interested, so I said no.
James says: “When I went to uni in Bournemouth about two years ago, I was far from my parents’ home in London and free to make my own rules.
“However there was an event at the
“I started going to raves, drinking, fighting and chasing girls. I used to get up to crazy stuff; you name it, I did it. “I was so angry and aggressive that I was uncontrollable and the music I listened to affected my temper, with certain tracks provoking me to rage. “Once, I was in my car outside a club when a guy who had just lost a fight looked at me through my window. He shouted, and smashed the glass, so that it went in my face. I lost it, going after him and stabbed him in the neck. “Whenever I got angry, I couldn’t control myself. That’s just the way I was. If anyone annoyed me, they were in for it.
James had an explosive personality. It did not take much to set him off. Studying away from home, with its added freedom, meant that James’ behaviour easily spiralled out of control.
HelpCentre I did to go and I realised that my anger was an issue I wanted to change. “I believe that my brother’s prayers also affected me, so when I finally decided to attend the change started. I remember sitting in the
Attending the VYG enabled James to tackle his problems at the root and adopt a new lifestyle that would steer him away from the bad influences of the past.
Once, I was in my car outside a club when a guy who had just lost a fight looked at me through my window. He shouted, and smashed the glass, so that it went in my face. I lost it, going after him and stabbed him in the neck.
meeting thinking: this guy is talking about me. Everything he mentioned described my life. It was as if he had been briefed. “In the moment of prayer, I told God: Look, I don’t even know how to pray, but if there is any negativity in my life, it has to go. And if You are willing, do Your work in me. I will believe in You, and I will decide to serve You. “Immediately, I felt relieved as if a heavy burden had been lifted and I left the HelpCentre with a new outlook on life. It was great. “Once I started to attend the HelpCentre regularly, I learnt that I needed to get to the root of my problem for my life to change permanently.
“I also got involved with the Victory Youth Group instead of spending my time in clubs and with girls. I got stronger as the days went by and in time, I was able to help others who were as I had been.” James Ahanonou, 24 – South London
89% increase in the number of under 16s admitted to hospital with serious stab wounds in the past 5 years.
Restoration and Conservation Heritage enrichment The UCKG HelpCentre is the proud owner of a growing number of listed buildings and others that are either within conservation areas or have particular features of interest to local history and conservation officers. The UCKG HelpCentreâ€™s property acquisitions department does not target former cinemas or theatre buildings when searching for properties in areas where we are aiming to establish a new HelpCentre. Purpose built but now redundant churches are ideal for us but not always available. Former cinemas and theatres as well as bingo halls and other entertainment venues suit the operational style of the charity for two main reasons: their size and location. Naturally located near public transport hubs, these buildings offer the perfect fit for an operation that relies heavily on being visible to people so that they can find the
HelpCentre more easily in their moment of pain and distress. Obviously, other buildings like shops and offices are usually well located, but these do not always offer the ample auditorium and ancillary space required. Listed buildings - amongst them churches, cinemas and theatres â€“ are especially attractive to us due to the fact that not many people in the property market are interested in taking on the challenge of refurbishing them. Often, when church buildings become available we are faced with developers who are ready to pay above the odds for the conversion potential, thereby pricing us out of the market. The challenge of restoring a listed building or one within a conservation area has no parallel and we have noticed how appreciative people are of the effort made by the congregation in order to do this. The transformation of a building often serves as an inspiration for peopleâ€™s personal transformations.
A unique historic building revived The Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park Originally the Finsbury Park Astoria, this building, together with its counterpart in Brixton, is considered to contain the best British example of a cinema auditorium in the ‘atmospheric’ style. The cinema was built with seating for up to 4,000 people in 1930, and is strategically located close to Finsbury Park train station. Its exotic and lavish interior is credited to Edward Stone. At the time it was constructed, the building boasted the latest safety features including fire-proofing and means of escape together with innovative artificial ventilation. The cinema closed in the 1960s and reopened as the Rainbow Theatre in 1971 with a rock concert by The Who. It continued operating as a rock venue until 1982 when licensing problems seem to have led to its closure.
the UCKG HelpCentre crossed each other’s paths in 1996 when the charity acquired the former cinema to convert it into its headquarters for the United Kingdom. Its heyday long gone by then, the building had been closed for over 10 years making it an eyesore that seriously detracted from the ambience of the entire Finsbury Park area. Always extremely plain on the outside, the building had been a glamorous palace of dreams inside, but this was no longer the case. Lacking electricity or heating throughout most of its vast interior and with damaged decor and dirty walls - in many instances painted black from top to bottom – it was closer to a haunted house than an architectural gem. In the following pages you will be able to see the impressive transformation of this Grade II* listed building that was only made possible by the generous donations and unrivalled commitment of UCKG HelpCentre members.
The Grade II* listed building and
Above left: outside balcony corridor and seating covered in dust with seat fabric and carpets ripped.
10 years closed put this grade II* listed building into a state of severe disrepair - many original features had been completely lost.
Above: a very damp and cold foyer. Left: original mirror with damaged ornate frame. Below: severely damaged right side stalls. Below left: littered auditorium back corridor with paint peeling from the ceiling.
Above left: restored balcony. Above: foyer shines again with a fully functional fountain.
ÂŁ6m invested brought back to life the gem in Finsbury Park. The whole area has benefitted from the restored theatre that now serves the community on a daily basis.
Left: ornamentation totally restored and many original listed features preserved. Below: restored stalls allow users to experience what the architect intended. Below left: colourful clear corridors full of restored original features.
Above: severely run down balcony still with its original seating.
Above: an unused Rainbow Theatre at risk of being lost forever. Left: a dark and damaged atrium.
Below: the water damaged dome.
Below: use as a rock venue left its mark on the once breathtaking auditorium.
Above: fully restored balcony retains all of the original seating back in use on a regular basis. Above: a bright and inviting Rainbow Theatre that opens its doors daily from 6.30am - 10pm.
Below: the beautifully designed and now stunningly restored dome over the foyer.
Left: atrium is a meeting point for community groups every week.
Below: the stunning design is now available for all to enjoy.
The Cannon Cinema, Catford This former cinema building tested the UCKG HelpCentreâ€™s resolve to further the Gospel - a battle of wills with the local authority that was determined not to have it as a place of worship. The building had been put on the market following its closure as a cinema - the only one in the London Borough of Lewisham - but there was no interest from operators. Sitting pretty in the heart of the town, right on the Catford gyratory, it was definitely not a pretty sight. However, when the UCKG HelpCentre took on the challenge and acquired the building for refurbishment and development into a HelpCentre, voices were raised against the plans. The local authority planning department, blatantly acted without understanding current market limitations and denied us planning permission.
Above: before it was acquired by the UCKG HelpCentre, the building was part of a conservation area but was not conserved at all.
Left: the property had been closed for less than 3 years but was already deteriorating badly.
Below: the roof had been patched up many times and had reached the end of its life.
The UCKG HelpCentre appealed against this poor decision with the strong support of its members and, fortunately, was granted consent by the planning inspectorate. True to its word, the UCKG HelpCentre refurbished and developed the building and it now serves the wide community on a daily basis.
Above left: new training centre facilities.
ÂŁ1.8m invested in the full restoration of a neglected building in a conservation area in the heart of Catford. It now opens daily with a range of activities for the whole community.
Above: refurbished and modernised auditorium with seating for 700 people. Left: after years of neglect and uncertainty, the building received a facelift and a new lease of life. Below: a brand new roof with updated ducts and efficient new heating and cooling systems.
Rye Lane, Peckham Built in the 1920s, this former Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society building was first occupied by the UCKG HelpCentre on a leasehold basis for 10 years. The freehold was purchased in December 2007. Following acquisition it was important to maximise the building’s potential to better serve the existing congregation and the wider community. It soon became clear that this would not be achieved without major reconstruction works. The designer’s brief was to consider the HelpCentre’s need to focus on dealing with youth crime and disorder in the area by providing a dedicated youth centre that would be highly visible from Rye Lane. The additional space that was needed was formed by extending the first floor over the entrance and integrating the ground floor facade into the upper floor. It was believed that such a high profile facility would greatly assist our work in the area.
Above: the original appearance of this 1920s Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society building.
Left: the facade during the leasehold days.
Below: the demolition works that uncovered the original arch, which conservation officers asked the UCKG HelpCentre to retain after redevelopment.
In the process of developing the property, a piece of nostalgia was uncovered behind the existing facade. The local conservation officer required that the same be preserved and the UCKG HelpCentre building team was pleased to oblige.
Above left: new access staircase leading to first floor auditorium.
Above: the refurbished facade incorporating the original Co-operative Society arch.
providing a state of the art facility with two auditoriums accommodating 812 seated people, ample kids area, youth centre and facilities for active community groups.
Left: new toilets designed to maximise space and usability. Below: new first floor auditorium with a seating capacity for 500 people. A secondary auditorium with fewer seats is also available.
The National, Kilburn This is the UCKG HelpCentreâ€™s latest refurbishment project involving a listed building. The former The National building in Kilburn is a Grade II listed building by Edward A Stone dating back to 1914. It was then the largest cinema in Europe with seating for 2,028 people. It was acquired freehold by the UCKG HelpCentre in 2003 and now welcomes an average of 1230 people each week to a variety of services provided free of charge. The building is easily recognised by its distinctive dome. But it also has an array of other attractive features including an ornate ceiling in the main auditorium that was not visible for many years. In reality this refurbishment is being driven by the need to protect a listed asset from a series of issues natural in a building celebrating its 100th birthday.
Above: an imposing building that no one can miss when going up the Kilburn High Road. Heavy patches on its impressive dome were also unmissable.
Left: severe water infiltration was at the heart of most problems in the Grade II listed building.
Below: beautiful decorations and features remained but were at risk due to a worn-out roof and rainwater goods.
A roof at the end of its life, major structural issues that need urgent attention together with the updating of services and maximisation of space and usability to accommodate all active community groups will require a multi-million pound investment.
ÂŁ1m invested so far but more is needed to completely restore this listed building and ensure its future as a hub for change in the Kilburn community.
Above and on the left: these computer generated images show the splendour of features that had been hidden for years. These will all be on show once the refurbishment is done. Left: areas providing accommodation for kids and community groups are the most advanced. Below: scaffolding provides a platform from which to refurbish listed features in the new altar.
On your doorstep A HelpCentre is not a traditional church and that influences our approach to property acquisitions. The UCKG HelpCentre’s current portfolio includes former cinemas, theatres, games arcades, offices, synagogues, retail shops, and supermarkets to name a few. The UCKG HelpCentre expands and develops new branches in response to demand. As people travel in to existing HelpCentres from outside their natural catchment area in sufficient numbers, so the church sets about its search for suitable properties – to buy or to rent – so it can establish a new fulltime HelpCentre. Our property acquisition policy is to find existing buildings in city centre and secondary high street locations with high levels of footfall and good public transport links. New build is rarely an option because of the need to be in established areas where the people are. This is because of the nature of
HelpCentres. They are precisely that – places where support and help are available to all for long hours, seven days a week, irrespective of their faith or even if they have no faith. Instead, the church seeks out existing premises with the potential to provide generous auditoriums for public services of prayer, smaller meeting rooms that accomodate our community groups, a youth centre, a kids zone for young children whose parents attend services, and administrative offices. In many instances a HelpCentre will include a café, open to all and a bookshop with an emphasis on inspirational and motivational materials. Certain branches have Training Centres, offering basic skills, IT, ESOL and other courses, which, interestingly, are 90 per cent taken up by people from outside the UCKG HelpCentre’s congregations. Typically, the type of property that is considered includes former cinemas, redundant places of worship that other denominations or religions no longer need and commercial properties, such as shops and offices.
Scotland Glasgow North East England Newcastle Nort West England Manchester Leeds
Wales Cardiff South West England Bournemouth Bristol Swindon
Yorkshire and the Humber Sheffield
West Midlands Birmingham Bullring Birmingham Lozells
East Midlands Nottingham Leicester
East England Peterborough Luton
South East England Oxford Gravesend
West London Southall Hammersmith Willesden Green Kilburn
North London Edmonton Wood Green Finsbury Park Stamford Hill East London Hackney Stratford Plaistow Ilford
South London Brixton Tooting Peckham Catford Woolwich Croydon
386 Brixton Road, London SW9 Seating capacity 300
Open since June 1995
99 Lozells Road, Birmingham B19 Seating capacity 170
Open since August 1996
70 High Road, London N17 Seating capacity 300
Open since December 1997
17 Heathfield Park, London NW2 Seating capacity 300
Open since January 2000
12-14 London Road, Croydon CR0 Seating capacity 270 Tenure Leasehold
Open since April 2000
54a High Road, London N22 Seating capacity 200
Open since July 2001
71-73 The Broadway, Southall UB1 Seating capacity 140 Tenure Leasehold
Open since September 2001
7 The Grove, London E15 Seating capacity 208
Open since November 2004
60 George Street, Luton LU1 Seating capacity 250 Tenure Leasehold
Open since June 2005
St Andrews Road, London E13 Seating capacity 400
Open since January 2006
128 Suﬀolk Street, Birmingham B1 Seating capacity 216 Tenure Freehold
Open since March 2006
West Grove, Cardiﬀ CF24 Seating capacity 200
Open since May 2007
21 Fleet Street, Swindon SN1 Seating capacity 300
Open since June 2007
71 Daisy Bank Rd, Manchester M14 Seating capacity 300
Open since July 2007
11 Thurland St, Nottingham NG1 Seating capacity 250 Tenure Leasehold
Open since July 2007
6a Sterling Way, London N18 Seating capacity 350
Open since October 2008
8-9 High Street, Gravesend DA11 Seating capacity 100
Open since March 2009
20 Brenthouse Road, London E9 Seating capacity 900
Open since July 2009
1 Thornton Street, Newcastle NE1 Seating capacity 250 Tenure Leasehold
Open since January 2010
27 Abbey Street, Leicester LE1 Seating capacity 250 Tenure Leasehold
Open since December 2010
Part-time locations Full-time HelpCentres often emerge from part time facilities offering prayer services and support sessions in hired venues several days a week. The UCKG HelpCentre opens new part time branches when it finds that people have to travel too far to get to their nearest full branch in time for weekday services. Part time facilities may also be opened in response to a surge of requests for a HelpCentre in a city where the UCKG HelpCentre does not yet have a presence. Either way they are the starting point for the transformation of many lives. Part time branches operate from hired halls in schools, council buildings, leisure centres, libraries and even other churches, and are open for just a few hours on selected days each week. In certain instances, when there is a higher requirement and venue availability, part-time locations can operate at specific times every day. The locations of all current part time HelpCentres are listed next.
BOURNEMOUTH St. Michaelâ€™s Church Poole Road Bournemouth Dorset BH2 5QU Sun 3pm & 4.30pm
BRISTOL Broadmead Baptist Church 1 Whippington Court Bristol BS1 3HY Tue 7pm & Sun 3pm
GLASGOW 34 West George Street Glasgow G2 1DAU Mon 7.30pm & Wed/Fri 7pm Sun 10am & 3pm
ILFORD Ilford Conservative Club 42 Ilford Hill Ilford IG1 2ATU Wed/Fri 7.30pm & Sun 10am
Malmac House 116 Dewsbury Road Leeds LS11 6XD
145 Upper Tooting Road London SW17 7TG
Mon-Fri 10am, 3pm, 7.30pm Sun 7.30am, 9.30am & 4pm
Mon-Fri 7am, 10am, 3pm & 7.30pm & Sat 9am Sun 7.30am, 9.30am & 4pm
Asian Cultural Centre Manzil Way Oxford OX4 1GHU
Glyndon Community Centre, 75 Raglan Road London SE18 7LB
Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri 7.30pm Sun 11am
Mon/Wed/Fri 7.30pm Sat 10am & Sun 9.30am
PETERBOROUGH Wesgate Church 70 Westgate Peterborough PE1 1RG Tue/Fri 7pm Sun 3pm & 6pm
SHEFFIELD St. Sadacca Community Centre, 48 Wicker Street SheďŹƒeld S3 8JB Tue 7.30pm
What others say about us The UCKG HelpCentre is committed to working together with other organisations, churches and faith groups for the benefit of the community. The emphasis of these relationships is in making a positive change in communities and society as a whole. “I have always passed by the building but never thought something so positive for the community was happening in this place.” Jonathan Dearth, Mayor of Islington “UCKG are an excellent Brazilian pentecostal church… with a strong social and evangelistic outreach and a ministry of praying for the sick.” Howard Cole, British Airways Christian Fellowship “The work of the Training Centre is very encouraging and they are committed to doing good works in their local community.” Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North “Meeting these girls (members of the youth group) has reminded me that teenagers can be a powerful force for good...”
John Pantry, Radio presenter on Premier Christian Radio “I was very interested to hear about the work of the Universal Church of the Kingdom God and especially the Victory Youth Group. The football tournament was a great success and so well organised. You are all to be congratulated on your hard work in putting this event on.” Councillor Mrs Cynthia Gresham, Town Mayor of Dunstable “I would like to thank you very much for donating another huge amount of clothing to Crisis… Over 1000 people got a new set of clothing at last year’s clothing store at the Open Christmas, so donations like yours are essential to keeping this service available to our guests.” Bob Evans, Project Manager, Crisis “The UCKG does an excellent work, a truly Christian church spreading the Gospel and helping thousands of people all over the world.” Pastor Ezequiel Teixeira New Life Project Ministry, Brazil
57 “I have very much enjoyed working with this group. The members of this group have been fun, fabulous, hardworking, have impressed me with their enthusiasm and dedication to their work. This is an inspiring group of people to work with.” Fiona Hasselman, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham Senior Project Officer, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV)
faith in Jesus Christ are the centre of their message.” Bishop Nzinga Maluka Simon of the Independent Churches of Congo “It was a very good initiative by UCKG to get so many women in-
“The Church actively preaches the Gospel, takes part in charities for children’s homes, in places of imprisonment, at homes for aged, according to the Bible doctrines.” Rev Sergey Riakhovsky, Chairman of Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith “As a journalist, I set out to investigate this controversial church… After ten years of research and close observation, I have found nothing except that UCKG disturbs with the strong Christian message it announces… especially those who are not doing a good job of it.” Adje Ange-Ignace, Journalist Member of Union of Cultural Journalism of Cote D’Ivoire
UCKG HelpCentre volunteers ran the ‘Do It for Charity’ - 5K Run in Greewich Park raising funds shared with selected charities Helen Rollason Cancer Charity received a cheque for £580.
volved in such a great cause (Female Cancer Awareness). This deadly disease is killing thousands of women every year.” Dr Narendra Pisal, MBBS MRCOG, NHS Whittington Hospital
“The UCKG preaches the Bible as a definitive authority; God’s love and
References Page 23: Bloxham, A. (2010). Children from broken homes 'nine times more likely to commit crimes' Page 25: Daily Express. (2011). Ladette violence soaring. Page 27: Beatbullying. (2006). Beatbullying Bullying and Truancy Report 2006. Page 29: Smith, I. D. (2009). Dying to Belong.
OďŹƒce Suites 24 Coleridge Road Finsbury Park London N4 3NP uckg.org