DWcarolhalton

 

Su Ainsworth, one of the incredible Activate Dream Team, introduces us to one of the Dangerous Women in her life… Carol Halton, shown above.

 

“Sometimes in life you just know when you’ve met someone special. That was the

case for me when I was introduced to Carol Halton in the late 80s at our local

church. Her love for preaching the gospel was apparent as month by month we

would do outreach in Leyland market, a local nearby town. Carol would dutifully

stand as part of a crowd waiting to engage with anyone else watching the dance

and drama going on to attract a crowd, which would then lead to a gospel message.

“Mission was a big part of her life throughout the nineties, undertaking

adventures in Romania, where she would lead teams that built a children’s home

out of a derelict hospital. We loved hearing all that God achieved through her

infectious zeal.

“It wouldn’t be until 2004 that I fully connected into our women’s outreach

ministry, ‘Beloved’  but she was always buzzing with ideas, getting relevant speakers

like Fiona Castle, and Rosemary Connolly. Under her leadership, a small-devoted

team advanced the kingdom at our yearly ‘Inspired’ conferences, teaching our

women how to be more productive.

 

“By 2006 I had been getting closer and closer  to the heart of this lady. As we chatted one day it became apparent that God had

been speaking to both of us about the same thing, Confidence Building. It wasn’t

more than a few weeks that Carol had roped me in to speak at a conference

where she had been invited to speak. Using the ideas I had been developing we

had given birth to Confidence Gym, a work out for your self-esteem. Although I

deliver the seminars it was Carol who organised all the meetings and got women

on board to run the groups in their own local communities. Somehow Ruth Adams from

Activate heard about our venture and met up with us in Bury. Ruth then did a

super article in the magazine, which launched the ministry further afield.

 

“Once established Carol’s thoughts turned back to mission. In 2006 she decided to set

up her own charity named Jireh Women, taken from the meaning, God will

provide, which involved helping women set up micro-enterprise projects. This

involved the making of jewellery made from, wait for it, glossy magazines! They

are unique in their design and the business would provide income, giving

financial independence to the women and prosperity to the communities. Carol

would then export the jewellery and do presentations here in the UK in people’s

homes to inform and sell. She has created a large network of workers and in

recent years the enterprise has been copied in India where she has recently done

trips.

 

“As I meet up for a coffee and catch up, she is bursting to tell me about her

latest adventure but first I want to talk about something else she made happen

over in Uganda. “Oh yes” she recalls, “We found a need for wedding dresses. Lots

of women wanted to get married and had no money for even a dress. I put the

word out here in Britain and the story was picked up by Marie-Clare magazine

and, wait for it… 350 dresses were donated! We were overwhelmed by people’s

generosity and compassion. A national carrier agreed to transport the dresses

and very happy days happened. Our charity Jireh Women even provided drinks

and cakes for the celebrations.”

 

“Whilst all this is happening by the way, she is asked to be a co-ordinater for a fledgling idea taking place in Britain called Street Pastors. Growing this idea in Chorley, her hometown, she helps expand the team

to 40 regulars on the streets each weekend. Working with the police, local

councils and other churches it completely transforms the local community.

Carol then went on to tell me that she also wanted to do something specifically in

her own church and in 2011 noticed that at Christmas the church would provide

Hampers, as is the custom, but then no help is forthcoming the rest of the year.

So the idea of a food bank came to mind. Not like others where folks off the street

can call in for donated food but specific referrals from social services to make

sure the most need was met. At first they were delivering 12 hampers per month.

That has now grown to 180!

 

“At the moment they are holding a fund raising event to support the ministry called “The Voice”, Chorley’s search for a star. A local lad who appeared in the X factor is involved and she hopes that  people really get on board with it to showcase their talents. You never know

who they might discover.

 

“Life is busy for Carol as she and husband Steve enjoy eight

grandchildren, four of whom have gone to live in the USA last year. All these life

events have been accompanied by the Gospel, which she endeavours to deliver at

every level. She is an inspiration and like most folk doesn’t see herself as special.

“I’m not a dangerous woman,” she declares as we had sat down to chat.

 

“Oh yes Carol, you certainly are!”

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