About Us

OUT OF ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT AMONG THE CHURCHES: The Overseas Appointments Bureau began its life in the late 1950s as a part of the work of the then British Council of Churches and merged with Catholic Overseas Appointments in 1972 forming Christians Abroad.  Christians Abroad (Limited) was a registered charity (no. 265867), and a company limited by guarantee  (no. 1110421).  These organisations recruited Christian lay people to work in overseas mission schools and hospitals. 

FULLY FUNDED CHRISTIAN NGO: In the 1980s, Christians Abroad was an ecumenical agency recruiting some 20+ lay people a year on two year appointments and was funded by the Department for International Development, the Christian mission agencies CAFOD and Christian Aid, and many of the larger denominational mission agencies. It was an agency of the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

SHIFTING PRIORITIES: In the 1980s it had grown to include an advice service for people working overseas and a Christian information service in support of Christian travellers and it also managed projects on behalf of other agencies. In the 1990s, the enthusiasm for ecumenical work amongst the churches waned, largely because of internal pressures in these organisations. This resulted in a shift of their priorities away from funding ecumenical agencies. DfID's priorities and terms of reference also changed, which meant that Christians Abroad was no longer a necessary partner. Christians Abroad adapted by providing short term voluntary placements for people of any age working in overseas development and mission.  However the pressures mounted and the decision was taken to de-register as a Charity and as a limited company and close all its operations. The organisation closed in March 2011. 

A PROJECT OF CHURCHES TOGETHER IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND: Colin South, a previous General Secretary and later Director,  and David Brett, as associate consultant, however, thought that there was still work to be done and a place for a continuing specialised ministry in support of worldwide Christian service and fellowship. CTBI Christians Abroad started a new life as a heritage project of 'Churches Together in Britain and Ireland' (registered charity no. 1113299) following closure of its predecessor . CTBI Christians Abroad is accountable to the Finance Committee of CTBI and submits its accounts annually  to CTBI for consolidation and audit. You can find more information about our new parent body at www.ctbi.org.uk.

In 2019, we are a consultancy which supports projects overseas managed by local Christians and supported by their local churches.  We seek to source individuals from other countries, principally the UK and the rest of Europe,  to work with projects which apply to Christians Abroad and are accepted. All projects and volunteers have to comply with Christians Abroad Safe Guarding policy.  Projects are accepted where a welcome,  positive and strategic impact is potentially acheiveable by a relationship with Christians Abroad. Our relationship with a project functions as a partnership.

ACCOMPANIMENT: Christians Abroad also has an ecumenical ministry of  accompaniment to individuals and couples who express a Christian vocation for long term service to the Church overseas. It is a specialist service to those individuals who feel, for one reason or another, that the style of their ministry does not fit comfortably into more formal support structures and agencies of the church. Great care is taken in accepting individuals into the accompaniment programme but we rejoice in the quality of the ministry of the small number of associates that this ministry comprises.

INSURANCE: In support of the Church in general, Christians Abroad provides an information and advice service in relation to travel, accident and emergency insurance including War and Terrorism endorsements to Christian travellers of all ages and additionally provides a group policy for Christian travellers which manages the risk associated in a low cost and efficient service which has grown year or  year. We are also an agency for payment of Voluntary Development Worker National Insurance programmes and all associate volunteers and associate Mission Partners who are spending signficant periods overseas working for mission or development are eligible to apply through CTBI Christians Abroad.

This small organisation is currently managed by Colin South, David Brett and Alistair as consultants and Hazel Crossley as senior associate volunteer. Colin, David and Hazel are retired professional people with overseas mission and development experience.  Alistair is a current professional, with several years of experience in overseas Christian community development, which he continues to be involved in part-time. We meet all expenses of the organisation from the charges made for services and from donations. Much of the work of the organisation today is done voluntarily as part of the ministry of the management team. This may change as we plan for the future of the organisation.

Click on SUMMARY REPORT AND ACCOUNTS to access a summary of the accounts submitted to CTBI  in January 2018 (Accounting Year Jan-Dec) with a comparison to the 2017 financial year and a summary annual report of major activity.

For a short personal profile of COLIN,  DAVID, and ALISTAIR who are the managing consultants of CTBI Christians Abroad and HAZEL as senior associate volunteer, click here PERSONAL PROFILES



Contacting us by telephone is not the most efficient way of communicating, as we are not always at our desks. If you do wish to leave a message, use the telephone number provided and we will respond to you as soon as possible, normally within 48 hours. You may be fortunate and find one of us at our desks! 

The freephone number for all calls and  messages is:  03000 121 201

The best way of contacting us is by e-mail;

             RECRUITMENT MATTERS  at recruit@cabroad.org.uk

             SUPPORT OR CONSULTANCY at support@cabroad.org.uk

For all matters related to recruitment and international partner relationships:

David Brett
CTBI Christians Abroad (Recruitment)
14 Millbridge Road

For all matters related to insurance,  finance, support and consultancy:

Colin South
CTBI Christians Abroad (Admin and Support)
22 Ebenezer Close,