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
“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
“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!”