Logo, Reachout Trust
|Motto||"Building a Bridge of Reason"|
|Type||Evangelical Christian Ministry|
Reachout Trust is a British evangelical Christian organisation. Its stated aims are to "Examine in the light of the Christian gospel the beliefs and spirituality of people within the cults, occults, new age and all not upholding to biblical truth."
Reachout Trust deals with many different groups including Jehovah's Witnesses, the Latter Day Saint movement, and Christadelphians as well as the occult and New Age. Reachout Trust also produce information about other groups and religions and writes about various influential Christian figures (such as tele-evangelists and authors) and various groups within non-evangelical Christianity, such as Roman Catholicism.
Reachout Trust communicates perceived dangers of those groups' beliefs and/or practices to the evangelical Christian community and presents Christian gospel from an evangelical perspective to members of those groups. The organisation is based in Surrey, UK. Reachout Trust produce articles on their website, and on a blog, publish books and booklets, as well as having a presence on social media. They also visit interested churches and groups
The organization was formed in 1982, under director Doug Harris. Their first newsletter, produced in 1984, was four pages long and consisted of a few hundred photocopies. That grew to a Quarterly sixteen pages sent out to several thousand individuals and churches across the country. These days the newsletter is online and gets sent out bimonthly. This was later discussed further in La Fontaine's Speak of the Devil. In 1988 they published Awake! To the Watch Tower, later cited as a reference by Edwards and Crompton. Maureen Davies, formally of the Reachout Trust, was cited as a "reliable source of information." She also wrote a large section in one of the File 18 newsletters. More recently, the organization has been consulted by the media in events relating to Satanism, and the group Exclusive Brethren.
The first Reachout Convention was held in New Malden Baptist Church in 1984. After that, it moved to Kingstanding Elim Church until 1991 when it was held at the Wycliffe Centre at High Wycombe. Having outgrown that venue, it moved in 1996 to the Pioneer Centre near Kidderminster. In 2008 it again moved to the more central location of Hothorpe Hall, Leicestershire. Since Doug's passing the trust has moved more towards small groups, visiting churches, and online ministry.[needs update]
From a group of people at the first meeting, the organization has grown to over a hundred attending a full weekend of seminars. Seminars and workshops cover all the main religions the Reachout Trust considers cults, including the LDS Church and Jehovah's Witnesses, but also other groups such as Freemasonry, as well as instruction in dealing with the occult and the New Age.
In 2002, David McKay of the group the Jesus Christians contacted the Reachout Trust through a pseudonym, in order to elicit a response which he could then utilize to manipulate the media. McKay's plan backfired, and the results were documented in an article in The Guardian. Also in 2002, a member of the organization commented on the potential influence of the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on young children, stating that it may influence children to explore the occult. In 2004, the organization held a three-day conference in order to assist and consult with families affected by cults and the occult.
In 2013 Reachout's founder, Doug Harris, passed away following a short illness. At the invitation of the trustees the leadership of the trust was taken up by Michael Thomas, a former Mormon and long-time friend and director of the trust.
- Gruss, Edmond C. (2003). The Four Presidents of the Watch Tower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses). Xulon Press. pp. 188, 191. ISBN 1-59467-131-1.
- Arweck, Elizabeth (2006). Researching New Religious Movements: Responses and Redefinitions. Routledge. pp. 132, 194. ISBN 0-415-27754-X.
- La Fontaine, J.S. (1998). Speak of the Devil: Tales of Satanic Abuse in Contemporary England. Cambridge University Press. pp. 38, 136, 137, 163, 165, 166, 174, 194, 213, 214. ISBN 0-521-62934-9.
- Edwards, Linda (2001). A Brief Guide to Beliefs: Ideas, Theologies, Mysteries, and Movements. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 559. ISBN 0-664-22259-5.
- Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. James Clarke & Co. p. 153. ISBN 0-227-67939-3.
- Jenkins, Philip (1992). Intimate Enemies: : Moral Panics in Contemporary Great Britain. Aldine Transaction. pp. 171, 177, 260. ISBN 0-202-30436-1.
- Medway, Gareth J. (2001). Lure of the Sinister: the unnatural history of Satanism. NYU Press. pp. 222, 230, 240, 297, 300. ISBN 0-8147-5645-X.
- File 18 newsletter, October 1989
- Sturcke, James (October 25, 2004). "Navy satanist will not have to choose between devil and deep blue sea". The Independent. Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
- Carter, Helen (October 25, 2004). "The devil and the deep blue sea: Navy gives blessing to sailor Satanist". The Guardian. Guardian Unlimited.
- Halpin, Tony (March 21, 2005). "Top marks for sect schools that shun the modern world". The Times. Times Newspapers Ltd.
- Ronson, Jon (April 6, 2002). "Blood sacrifice (part two)". The Guardian. Guardian Unlimited.
- Tinniswood, Rachel (November 16, 2002). "Fantasy tales led me into witchcraft". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror.
- Staff (November 12, 2004). "In the dark". Birmingham Evening Mail. Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd.
- Staff (October 14, 2004). "Aid for victims of the occult". Birmingham Evening Mail. Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd.
- Official links
- Official Reachout Trust homepage
- Archives of the Reachout Trust homepage, as performed regularly by the UK Web Archiving Consortium
- Reachout Trust - SHIELDS, a response to Reachout Trust's work by the Scholarly & Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints