The History of EnCourage
Some years after leaving the cult in which they had been raised, Christine and Jörg Mathis realised there was a real need to support other former cult members many of whom were either destitute or in need emotionally.
As a result they offered befriending, counselling and practical assistance to those struggling with the mechanics of life outside a cult.
They established the Clearwaters Open Doors Trust in 2004 as a fund-raising vehicle for this work, hoping in due course to establish a separate retreat centre. However, they did not have time to promote it as they had hoped.
Gillie Jenkinson had a similar vision for former cult members and Christine and Jörg agreed she would be a good person to take the Trust forward. Gillie offered to co-ordinate the re-launch of the Trust under new Trustees and with expanded aims.
As Clearwaters Open Door Trust was named after a local landmark it was decided that a less personal name would be used.
In 2009 the Charity Commission agreed that the Trust be renamed ‘EnCourage Survivors of Cults and Abuse’ and the aims were expanded (see welcome page).