On November 4th, 1980, a new Plymouth organisation was registered with the Charity Commissioners, its aim to “promote and advance the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and encourage Christian education, in Great Britain generally, and in the Plymouth area more particularly.” But CRP wasn’t born on that day; it had, by then, been in existence for several years.
It had evolved from the Youth for Christ movement which, since the early 1970s, had begun to develop a schools’ ministry and I was involved as one of the workers. k we visited schools, taking part in assemblies and RE lessons, it became clear that very few quality resources were available for Christian education. I began to build a small resources library and, as time went on, it became apparent that if this was to develop it needed to be a separate entity from the largely music-based YFC ministry. So, CRP started – with one member of staff, a corner of a bedroom as an office, an ancient stencil duplicator and a library of a collection of filmstrips with cassette soundtracks. However, I was quickly able to link in with two organisations providing 16mm films – Fact and Faith Films and the Lord Rank Film scheme. The work developed into a pattern of school visits, carrying projector and screen and showing films like Voice of the Deep and City of the Bees. By the time CRP registered as a charity we had moved from the bedroom to an office at the newly-opened Crossline Centre in Union Street, opposite the old Palace Theatre. There I shared my time between school visits and helping with the Crossline counselling ministry. The higher public profile given by the move helped the work to steadily grow.
By 1982, CRP was outgrowing its premises in the Crossline Centre, and in November 1982, we moved into 14, Lipson Road.