Norwich street girl project goes global
social action pioneer Theresa Cumbers
, former project director of the Magdalene Project
which reaches out to Norwich prostitutes, is now helping to launch an International Christian Alliance on Prostitution
following a conference in the USA.
Theresa, who launched and led the Magdalene Group in Norwich for the last 14 years, until her retirement in March, was invited to take lead workshops at the International Christian Conference on Prostitution and Trafficking.
The conference was held at Green Lake, Wisconsin, USA, in April, in partnership with the Baptist World Alliance Women’s Department, International Ministries, and American Baptist Women’s Ministries. Leaders included representatives of regional ministries from 33 countries across Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Latin America
“Over the past 14 years I have had the privilege of gaining incredible experience, working with some wonderfully committed people, some of whom truly have the gift of compassion,” said Theresa. “I do know that none of this must be wasted, so I was excited and privileged to be invited to the conference.
“God’s spirit was moving in a powerful way, bringing new projects into being, expanding existing projects, bringing healing and hope, and inspiring people to pray for ‘the least of these’.”
Theresa is a founding trustee of the National Christian Alliance on Prostitution
in the UK with 43 affiliated members and is now helping to launch the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution.
In 1995, a small number of projects in the UK working with people involved in prostitution made contact informally to share ideas and information. These projects shared the common aim of working at grass-roots level to give opportunities for change to those in the sex industry.
It soon became clear that new projects were being established that needed help, advice and support from people like Theresa.
“NCAP exists to unite, equip and empower groups working with people involved in the sex industry to offer freedom and change,” she said.
“Throughout the years of my being Project Director for the Magdalene Project I have made sure we remain transparent, and have had the privilege of meeting many groups starting up in the UK, offering help with passing on the blueprint.
“Already in the UK we are connected with over 40 projects who are working with over 4000 people caught up in prostitution. We are also working with churches to raise awareness of the issue and to mobilise more people to respond to this modern day injustice in our midst.
“I believe this new conference will now serve as a catalyst for creating and cementing regional and global networks, while offering emotional and physical renewal. There are people globally who want to join with us offering hope and redemption for all those trapped in prostitution and trafficking,” said Theresa
“Forming ICAP will take a huge commitment and energy and I am so excited to be part of those who have already worked tirelessly to get it this far.
“Although I will be working more strategically at a national level, my links and development will continue in Norfolk.”
Theresa is hoping to arrange some speaking engagements with churches and other local organisations on this important topic and if you would like to invite her then contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Keith Morris
Pictured top is Theresa Cumbers and middle the Wisconsin prostitution conference delegates.