Chris and Jo Phillips
“It wouldn't have been possible to stay in London without the help of Mission Housing.”
Chris Phillips works for a Christian schools' charity called crossteach (christchurchcrouchend.wordpress.com) which goes into primary and secondary schools in the boroughs of Camden and Islington to teach pupils about the Christian faith. Over the course of a year the crossteach team in London work in 11 different schools, partner with 8 churches and see over 1000 pupils. ‘I have an amazing opportunity to open up the Bible with young people and share my faith with them,’ says Chris.
For Chris and his wife Jo living in London is key to Chris’ role with crossteach and also to their involvement with their church. ‘We were very keen to stay in London because, as well as my work, the church we were attending were planning a church plant into an existing congregation in Crouch End, near to some of the schools I work in,’ says Chris. However, the high cost of accommodation was a limiting factor for them: ‘When Jo and I started thinking about the future and the possibility of having a family we realised that staying in London and continuing the work at crossteach was going to be very difficult, due to the cost of housing.’
Mission Housing were able to help Chris and Jo buy a property, and they moved into a house in Crouch End through Mission Housing's shared ownership scheme. The scheme involved a number of friends and family investing in the property to make up the total investment needed. ‘Mission Housing were incredibly helpful throughout the whole process from initial conversations right through to when we picked up the keys,’ says Chris.
Chris continues: ‘A week before we moved into the new property we had the exciting news that Jo was pregnant. It's been amazing to see God's timing in all of this and we know it wouldn't have been possible to stay in London without the help of Mission Housing. It has been so great to be part of the community where the new church plant has started. At the moment we are only a small number but it was really encouraging to see the church full at Christmas time with visitors from the local area.’