Earlswood Garden Centre brings new life to the gardens at Windmill House


Betel UK would like to give a big thank you to Earlswood Garden and Landscape Centre for their generous donation of a range of plants to be used around our Headquarters giving it a fresh look in advance of the up and coming 20th Anniversary Celebration.

The garden beds around Windmill House will receive a much appreciated makeover as they are planted with an assortment of shrubs, annuals and perennials including Carpet Roses, Lavenders, Salvia’s and Daffodils.  They will bring an extra splash of brightness as hundreds gather to celebrate the life changing work of Betel UK that has brought restoration and new hope to thousands of men and women since it was established in Birmingham 20 years ago.


No walk in the park…

At 110 miles it’s certainly not just a walk in the park. Mark Priestly, a member of the Betel community for over 13 years, is showing that he really is willing to go the extra mile as he takes on the challenge of a 110 mile walk in May to help raise funds for Betel.

cleveland way 2

His epic walk will take place between 1-7 May 2016 amongst the stunning scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors. He will be journeying up hill and down dale along the Cleveland Way which runs between Helmsley and the Brigg at the coastal village of Filey.

Mark originally came to Betel seeking help to break free from his heavy cannabis use and severe depression. His testimony is that,

“Betel have helped me completely turn my life around and helped me be more than I could have dreamed of.”

Apart from raising money that he hopes ‘will help rescue more lives from the horrors of addiction’ he is also looking forward to the benefits that such an adventure will bring to both his physical and spiritual fitness.
markpriestley photo

If you would like to support Mark to fulfill his goal of raising funds for Betel Nottingham
then please follow the link to the Virgin Money Giving Website or download a sponsor form here and get others to join you in giving.







On the run Again!

Anthony-Marathon-PhotoDear friends of Betel Manchester,

As some of you may already know Anthony Parkinson, director of Betel Manchester and ex addict, is on the run again! This time it’s the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon to raise funds and awareness for the work of the charity in the North West. The event takes place 24th April 2016.

Much time and effort goes into the running of and the training and preparing for a marathon. By the time Anthony gets to the day he will have accomplished hundreds of road miles and spent countless hours away from home. It really is no small sacrifice and no mean feat.

To that end we at Betel Manchester would ask you to consider thoughtfully (and prayerfully where you can!!) if you can give. We would also ask you to think big and be generous!

Also we would like to ask some of you to stand with us in a different way. For those who are able, we attach a sponsor form with some more information so that you might ask further afield in your local communities to try and generate extra support for this noble and worthy cause. Ask your family, friends, John the plumber, Aunty Joan, the bank manager, anyone you think might want to or be able to give to this.

The money will go to the vital work of Betel Manchester helping to rescue even more lives and towards the potential completion of the ongoing construction work at Hardy Farm Pavilion which will enable Betel Manchester to serve even more desperately needy people.

Please donate at


Or choose to partner with us and generate not only your own sponsorship but others too. Download a copy of the sponsorship form here. Sponsorship-Form LM2016

Thanks so much in advance for all your support past, present and future.


The team at Betel UK – Manchester









Betel goes carolling


Every December Betel carolling teams throughout the UK bring Christmas joy to the public in supermarkets, shopping centres and the streets once again as we sing during this major fund-raising month. The team spirit and camaraderie that is fostered is a highlight for everyone. This short, but important season enables us to cover some of our normal operating expenses during the slower winter months. Check out our Facebook page for some fun photos.



Just minutes before attempting suicide, offered hope.

Hi, I’m Tanya Weild. I’m 48 years old and I’ve been in Betel for eight years.
At school I was very shy and was constantly bullied. In my search for acceptance, I started using cannabis when I was 13, before progressing to amphetamines, magic mushrooms and finally, intravenous heroin use. That began 25 years of a living hell involving abusive relationships, hepatitis C, miscarriages, alcoholism, methadone addiction and many rehab centres.

One day I decided to end it all. I had just come out of a five-week stay in a psychiatric ward and had lost everything – my family, home, partner, and the most precious person in my life, my son George. I had no hope so I prostituted myself to buy drugs and alcohol to give me enough ‘Dutch courage’ to jump off a local multi-storey block of flats in my home town of Blackpool.

12669265_1115516371821376_1374284794_oAfter the life I’d led for 25 years, I didn’t believe in any god but on the way to the flats I stopped and cried out, “Please, if there is anyone up there, help me!”  Then I sat down in the woods next to the flats – completely broken, lost, surrounded by bottles of cheap cider and with drugs in my pocket.

Two days earlier, in absolute desperation, my dad had taken me to an outreach where I’d been given a leaflet for a place called Betel. It said they could take me in the same day. The problem was, I didn’t want help – I just wanted to die!

Suddenly a man came from nowhere with a knife in each hand. I just said to him, “Do whatever you want! I don’t care!”

“NO! NO!” he said, “Listen to me! I was on the 13th floor of the flats when I heard God say ‘Go to the window’. As I looked down I saw you crying out for help and heard God saying ‘Go down and get her’”.

12656451_10153925724328958_1579482013_oWhen I asked him about the knives he said he thought I was either being mugged or raped and had brought them for protection. When he asked me about the leaflet in my hand, I told him. Amazingly he said he had been in Betel for years and that he believed God wanted me to go there. I thought to myself,“He’s been smoking as much crack as I have!”

To cut a long story short, five days later I arrived at the Betel Nottingham women’s house. I was so ill I lay on a mattress for three weeks, surrounded by people who loved me and who had all gone through the same things as me.

They gave me hope on dark days. They loved me when I was unlovable and carried me when I couldn’t carry myself. They encouraged me to believe that God had a plan and purpose for my life and that I, Tanya, had a destiny. I saw in them the love of Jesus, something I had searched for all my life.

Now, eight years on, I help lead and oversee the Betel centre in Nottingham, supporting and loving other women who are just like I was. With my wonderful husband Jimmy, we will serve God together until the end of our days.



Hi, I’m Jan and I’ve now been living in the Betel family for over seven years. Up to the age of 40, my life seemed relatively ‘normal’. I was married with three children aged 5, 10 and 15, and I had a good career as a staff nurse at a local hospital A&E department. As a family, we were very comfortable and I thought I was settled for life.

Then, just before Christmas 1999, I found out my husband was having an affair and this horrible truth started me on a long downward spiral. Within months, I became very seriously ill and was hospitalised with Crohn’s disease.

When I finally recovered 18 months later, gone was the woman who thought she knew about life; gone was her husband and, because she was too ill to look after them, gone were her children. Indeed, I found my very identity as a person disappearing and I plummeted headlong into despair.

Over the next seven years, I got myself into a number of violently abusive relationships, with the oblivion that alcohol offered as the only source of relief from my pain and loneliness. I tried various forms of treatment including GP-prescribed medication, counselling and psychiatry. One rehab home refused to accept me because I was too old but I knew the results would have been the same at most of them; being in a drug and alcohol-free environment was not enough. My inner pain always drove me back to alcohol.

Then one day in June 2008, when I felt I was dying, a Christian ex-policeman told me about Betel. I telephoned them and was accepted within a matter of days. As soon as I walked through the doors, I knew this place was different from anywhere else I had been. The girls, most of whom had had similar life experiences, welcomed me with genuine warmth and love, and wanted nothing in exchange. They had no hidden agenda and I knew I had found a safe haven at last.

For the first few months, while I slowly regained a sense of self-worth, the girls just encouraged me through the long difficult days – and nights. I worked hard at a number of jobs within the Betel community, and finally came to accept and believe in the life-changing truth that there is a God – Jesus – that He knows and loves me personally, and that He only wants the very best for me.

With my faith in Jesus forming the foundation of my new life, for the last five years I have been the leader of Betel’s women’s houses in Birmingham, a position I have just retired from. My relationships with my children – and two grandchildren – are fully restored and I now have a deep inner peace and sense of purpose for my life. As such, I am looking forward to the New Year with excitement as I wait expectantly to find out what God has in store for me in 2016.



Heroin addict for 20 years – Now a husband, leader and completely restored!

“I grew up in a broken family and by the age of 13, I was smoking and drinking. This led on to my using drugs and at 16, after committing many offences and receiving a number of convictions, I served a year in prison. By the time I came to Betel in 2006, I had been addicted to drugs for 27 years, 20 of them as a heroin user.”

Timon 3“My life was completely destroyed. I weighed 7½ stone. I had no veins left to inject in my arms and legs and I was injecting directly into my neck. My family didn’t want anything to do with me because I had caused them so much grief, worry and pain. I spent a £30,000 inheritance on drugs in just six weeks and when the money ran out, I didn’t have any friends left. My life was such a wreck that if I hadn’t come into Betel when I did, I would have died.”

Timon has now been in Betel for eight years. Through his Christian faith and support from others at Betel who have also overcome similar addictions, he has remained completely free from heroin, alcohol and all chemical substances during this entire time. Embracing a life of recovery, he has decided to stay on in leadership at Betel UK.

“I have gained a purpose and a vision for my life. Now I want to help others gain victory over their addictions and experience the same restoration of their lives as I have. I met my lovely wife here at Betel and we live in one of our men’s centres that we oversee. I have also learnt valuable business skills at Betel. I received training and gained qualifications as a tree surgeon while here and now co-manage Betel’s tree surgery business. My relationship with my family has been completely restored and I can now look ahead to the future with confidence and hope, thanks to the amazing transformation that has, and continues to take place in my life here in Betel.”