The CBF was set up eighty years ago in 1934 at the time of the Great Depression of the 1930s. This was a time of desperate poverty, especially in the valleys of South Wales where there were severe problems in the coal industry. Our founder trustees were no strangers to poverty and established the ethos, which we still keep to, of keeping running costs to a minimum so as to make more funds available to those in need.
Why have a Benevolent Fund?
Jesus taught his followers to love and care for one another. In first century Jerusalem the early brothers and sisters put this into practice with their own ‘benevolent’ fund:
“…all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44,45)
New Testament teaching underlines how important this is:
“…let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) and “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
The building block of life and worship for brothers and sisters in the early church was the ‘ecclesia’ (the Bible word means a community of believers). They worshipped and witnessed together and accepted the need to look after each other as best they could. CBF respects the ecclesial building block, and, to quote from our objectives: “…(CBF will )…refrain from any interference with individual and ecclesial effort, and relieve only those cases which are beyond the power of the ecclesia to handle.”