For The City UPDATES - The Food Bank & CAP

At Harbour we want to be a church that is for the city and makes a difference in areas that need it most. Since coming to Portsmouth, two particular issues have been prominent: poverty and food insecurity. This has spurred us to partner with two incredible initiatives; CAP (Christians Against Poverty) and The Food Bank.

Food Bank

1 in 5 children in the UK are living in food insecurity – and this figure is even higher in Portsmouth. We want to play our part in making sure that everyone who is struggling in our city is able to find practical support when they need it. And so, we’re incredibly excited to be launching the Harbour Church Food Bank. As part of the Trussell Trust network of food banks in Portsmouth, we’ll provide emergency food and support to those who need it.

For many who find themselves in poverty, the need is often much greater than just food, so we want to provide a community where those who come to our Food Bank will be offered a warm welcome and emotional support from our team of volunteers. 

We aim to launch Harbour Church Food Bank at our Gunwharf location at the start of the Autumn term, and we can’t wait! We need volunteers to pack food parcels, serve tea and toast, and befriend those who come to our Food Bank. If you would like to be part of this exciting opportunity to serve our city, please get in touch!


Christians Against Poverty

Starting at the end of July CAP will open its first centre in Portsmouth, based at Harbour Church. Here’s a bit more about the need, and the incredible work CAP do:

Nationally: Every 60 seconds, 72 people go in to debt at an average of £8,000
City wide: 23% children in Portsmouth live in poverty
Locally: 43% children in Charles Dickens Ward (where our CAP office will be based)

Christians Against Poverty exists to change this story.

They currently have:
600 centres for support across the UK: job clubs, life skills, debt help.
200,000 families gone debt free.
35% clients had either attempted suicide or suicidal when contacted CAP. Equates to 70, 000 people still alive as a result of having their debts paid off.

We recognised a need for a CAP centre in Portsmouth - we truly believe that Jesus calls us to set people free from whatever it is that keeps them captive. For hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, unmanageable debt is an everyday prison. And so from 22nd July 2019 Portsmouth Debt Centre will be offering completely free support out of debt. Here’s what it will look like:

Visit 1: Coming to see a client at home so there’s no worries about finding the money to get to our office. Offering prayer and introducing a befriender at the start of our journey together.

Visit 2: Having gathered up all the paperwork, bills, notices and unopened post, we crack on with some fact finding, before taking it all away to process on behalf of the client. Head office do the hard work, contacting creditors and working to build a Journey Out Of Debt Plan.

Visit 3: We meet up one last time to go through the bespoke plan and budget going forward, before signing off and ensuring the client has all the ongoing support they need to go debt free.

We believe that God’s heart is to bring freedom.

If you can speak, pray, take someone for coffee, listen, encourage, sit with someone in church or invite them to your BBQ at the weekend, then you are exactly the person who can help. To serve our city the best we possibly can, we need prayers and we need befrienders. You can give as much or as little time as works for you, but I promise that whatever you bring God will use it to bring hope to the hopeless, freedom for the captives and new life.

If you need help with your debt call freephone line 0800 328 0006
If you are interested in joining the team, receiving updates or becoming a prayer partner, please email me at

Jessica Elliott