About Chris Milton, Founder of The Way Website
After formal education and a brief period in sales, Chris moved to London and
studied for a Higher National Diploma in Building. The career in the building
trade did not last very long as the industry hit the slump in the early nineties
and Chris was a victim of two consecutive redundancies.
Disillusioned with the UK he then left to work and explore America. The USA made
a big impact on him and he had a spiritual re-awakening at the Grand Canyon,
making a recommitment to Jesus Christ.
On returning Chris once again found a position in sales, despite numerous
attempts to return to the building industry. Finally after several years a
position opened within the Worthing Churches Homeless Project (WCHP). A little over a year later he was
managing the Resettlement Department, offering choices and supporting homeless
people in the WCHP hostels, building contacts with the local agencies, the
Council and landlords, including setting up the 'local landlords forum' in
Chris and his colleagues became aware that many resettled people required
ongoing support, and that many people could not even access accommodation
because of other issues in their life. It was clear that a venue was needed
where all these people could be supported.
After applying for
funding, the first full-time day centre in Worthing supporting the vulnerable
and homeless was opened in a local church hall. This was open less than a year
and closed amidst some local opposition. Chris and others knew that such a
project was desperately needed and after a search around Worthing identified a
project which he felt was perfect. At the time it was derelict and needed a few
hundred thousand pounds spent to restore it. One of the local pastors stood
outside the building with him and prayed. The trustees at the time felt this was
too much and he was encouraged to drop this dream. Shortly afterwards he felt it
was time to leave WCHP – this was not related. Today the prayers have been
answered and the building has been refurbished and provides a bustling day
centre and base for the outreach work of WCHP.
Largely due to a change in personal circumstances he then moved to Berkshire and
worked at Yeldall Manor as a counsellor keyworker for around a year. A move into
the centre of Reading followed ending up with employment with a small Christian
charity, FAITH Christian Group for the next four years. During this time Chris
established the first night shelter, ‘Stepping Stone’ in Reading meaning the
council could no longer ignore the plight of the homeless and addicted. A spin
off project was set up offering accommodation to some of the hardcore homeless
and addicted in the town. In addition, with others, to getting a work with
working girls off the ground - he also spent much time networking with churches
around Reading, getting more churches to support vulnerable individuals in their
communities. Also during this time he started a degree at Moorlands Bible
College as a placement based student.
A happy event was his marriage to Lorraine and meant that they both left
Reading and moved to Bournemouth. This enabled him to finish his degree as a
college based student. A further year in Bournemouth was spent establishing a
new post working for Faithworks Wessex setting up outreach work among the
drop-in centres run by the churches, while Lorraine studied for a year at
Moorlands, and meant he could also complete his degree with a dissertation,
which explored further the relationship between the churches and people with
During his final year at college Chris spent five weeks in Kosova on block
placement. This was particularly tough for both as they had just got married and
moved into their new home in Christchurch, outside Bournemouth. Chris returned
and did not expect Kosova to play a part in his future life – someone had other
After returning - a passion and vision for work in Kosova grew and Chris & Lorraine returned as a couple for a short visit. On their last day found out about a vacancy in a tiny village in the south – they applied and were accepted and moved there in November 2008.
After two years in the village they moved to a town in the West of the country, joining Operation Mobilisation (OM), they also became linked to the Church Mission Society (CMS). Chris developed a drug education programme which, with translators, he was able to present in a number of secondary schools in Kosova, building some contacts with a number of young people/services. From this a vision developed to create a safe place for the children & young people, Lighthouse, which, with the provision of some generous funding, led to them setting up and opening a new business, a café, aimed at the children and youth. This they operated themselves for a year before handing it over to be run by a local team, when they returned to the UK.
Chris & Lorraine returned to live in the UK permanently in June 2013, wanting to remain with OM, they moved to the Midlands to work at the OM Lifehope Training Centre. Chris is Team Life & Ministry Co-ordinator with the English Language Community Outreach (ELCO) programme. He is also works in a variety of ways to support others on the edge of society, including the homeless & those struggling with addictions.
Chris's passion and work with the homeless and vulnerable has been rooted in the verses from the Bible, in Proverbs 31 verses 8-9 (NIV): "Speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy."
Chris has an interest in addiction, particularly substance misuse from which this website was born. He completed a range of courses including Christian counselling and various other Christian and secular courses. He also organised and ran a variety of training sessions, particularly drug education to young people, staff and volunteers, both in UK and Kosova; in addition to a variety of other speaking engagements in schools and churches again both in the UK and Kosova.
Chris was formerly involved with both national charity Hope UK, and based in Reading, a trustee of Amethyst, offering training around substance misuse to children and young people. Chris is a member of the Evangelical Alliance, and also an active member of ISAAC, the International Substance Abuse and Addiction Coalition, since 1999, attending various conferences and establishing the Bournemouth ISAAC. Chris is available to use not only his experience of addiction, but also of homelessness and of creating, developing, and managing a team to help and support those marginalised and addicted.