From acceptance to achievement

Founded in 1962 as the Clinical Theology Foundation, the beginnings of what is now the Bridge Pastoral foundation can be traced back to the pioneering work of Frank Lake in the late 1950s.

In those days, few clergy were trained to deal with individuals and their needs, and Frank's offer of courses in psychology were eagerly taken up across the country. Demand grew rapidly and within three years there were 40 seminars around the country with 1,000 clergy in training. The 1960s saw the work expanding and a centre was established in Nottingham. By the end of the decade, almost 10% of all clergy had been through the seminars and thousands of people had been helped towards a more fulfilling life. Read more about the development of BPF.

During the 1970s the work grew, but there were inevitably conflicts arising from different attitudes to influences such as the charismatic movement and a looming financial crisis. The death of Frank Lake in 1982 caused much heart searching, and the decision was taken to cut back on staff, sell the Lingdale property and appoint just one paid official. It was then that the Clinical Theology Association changed its name to the Bridge Pastoral Foundation.

You can read more about this stage in our journey from the reflections of Oliver & Jean Forshaw and Peter van de Kasteele.

Under its new banner, BPF continues to grow and flourish while still achieving the objectives which Frank Lake formulated over forty years ago. One of our course tutors shares his experiences of BPF over the most recent decade.