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Urban Saints, formerly called the Crusaders until January 2007, is an interdenominational Christian Youth Organisation founded by a missionary Albert Kestin in the United Kingdom in 1900. The Crusaders' Union was formed in 1906, and marked the start of the organisation. Crusaders celebrated their centenary at the Royal Albert Hall in 2006. Currently, over 20,000 young people in Britain are a part of Urban Saints groups.
Since forming in 1906, Urban Saints has dedicated itself as an organisation to bringing young people closer to the christian god and helping guide them through their childhood lives. The organisation claims to have had great success during the earlier years of its work, on the basis that Crusader classes were allegedly very different from Sunday schools at the time, while still teaching the same principles and values supported by the Christian faith. The organisation's motto is 'Faith, hope and most of all love' from 1 Corinthians 13 v 13. The tenets they stand by are: Commitment, Compassion, Endurance, Humility, Integrity and Wisdom. Before too long numbers began to grow and a programme of summer camps began in 1911, together with special events and sporting activities. The organisation grew steadily, apart from during the two world wars when numbers dipped.
Today Urban Saints supports around 1200 youth and children's groups meeting around the UK on a regular basis. Thousands of volunteers work together to organise events, holidays, mission trips and training courses in the UK and overseas.
As well as their website, Urban Saints has accounts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to keep followers updated.
Energize is Urban Saints' site for providing group leaders with resources and meeting plans which they can use with their youth and children's groups. It also provides links to leadership training for those who wish to take their involvement with Urban Saints further.
Perhaps the most notable holiday scheme was the Urban Saints 'Rebuild' trip to Mexico where over 140 people went abroad to build houses for families living in poverty, in the space of the trip they built 7 houses. There is a second 'Rebuild' trip scheduled to Mexico in 2011
- Peter Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden
- George Cansdale, Zoologist and broadcaster
- David Jenkins, Bishop of Durham
- Albert Kestin - Founder
- Donald Wiseman - Bible scholar
- Maurice Wood, Bishop of Norwich