Charles Colchester has been a long term valued supporter and patron of Epiphany Trust and has now become a trustee of the trust. He lives with his wife Serena in West Sussex and they have 6 children and two grandchildren.
After graduating with an undergraduate degree from Magdalen College, Oxford in History and French he moved to Bahrain working initially for Gray Mackenzie (part of the Inchcape Group). He launched a new operation broking business opportunities in a wide range of fields. Back in the UK he launched a public relations and advertising business, with Collingwood of Conduit Street (The Royal Jewellers) as its chief client. Using his connections in the Gulf he contributed to the rebuilding of Collingwood’s fortunes and then organised for Collingwood to open a ‘ shop within a shop’ in Harrods.
In 1979 he founded The Well – a Christian coffee bar and restaurant in Victoria, London. This then developed into a national ministry, The Initiatives Project, to encourage local churches to set up similar venues to reach out into the High Street.
In 1983 he co-founded CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) which combined social caring with political lobbying. Over the next twenty five years CARE successfully launched Care for the Family, Care for Education, Care for Life, The Care Homes Programme, Care Remand Fostering and the Care Intern Programme. In 1986 he launched Care for Europe which was based in Brussels where he was able to support MEPs in relation to European legislation that would impact Family, Marriage and Christian ethics.
In 1991 he started up a new venture called the Ethics Development Initiative, in response to the recent collapse of the Soviet Empire focusing upon the five fundamental fields of Ethics: Business, Politics, Medicine, Law and Social Policy and the Arts. To this end EDI created a programme of training for emerging leaders to develop an integrated Christian world view. This has now become the Gospel in Society programme.
In 2002 Sheikha Musa, the wife of the Emir of Qatar, asked Charlie to co-found, what has now become the Doha International Family Institute. This is the first Pro Family and Marriage, organisation, in the world, specifically funded by a sovereign state. This resulted in the Doha Declaration on the Family (2004) in the UN, he then went on to serve on the Board until 2015.
In 2009 Charlie founded the OID (Office of International Diplomacy), a registered American and Canadian charity, with operations around the globe. Charlie worked with senior diplomats and government ministers on peace and reconciliation initiatives using the ‘Family’ as a new diplomatic language, particularly in United Nations centres.
OTHER INTERESTS and ACTIVITIES
1979-1993 Church Warden of Holy Trinity Church, Brompton
1995-1998 Church Warden St Pauls Anglican fellowship
1998-2012 Church Warden St Mary’s Church Bryanston Sq.
1979- Chairman P and P Trust (a grant making Trust).
1983-1996 Director Well Marine Reinsurance Ltd (Lloyds of London)
1986-2017 Founding Trustee and Governor of Dolphin School Trust: a Christian, independent primary school with the Noah’s Ark nursery schools
1987-2010 Chairman Maranatha Christian Trust
1990-1995 Director Tear Fund
1996-2009 Trustee The Centre for Bio Ethics and Public Policy
2008-2016 Chairman The Christian Inspiration Trust
Charlie enjoys reading widely and extensively as well as painting, sculpting, travelling, gardening, singing in a choir and cooking.