Marking 20 Years of COWC

Carlisle One World Centre marks 20 years with past and present trustees, staff and volunteers

On Saturday 3rd July, a group of people including some of the original founding members of Carlisle One World Centre came together at Tullie House to mark the charity’s 20th anniversary. COWC was set up in the late 1990s by Rev. Bill Brown from the Church of Scotland and Fr. Greg Turner from Our Lady and St. Joseph’s Parish, both members of Churches Together in Carlisle, as a model of inter-faith working in the city to raise awareness about global issues and its projects led the way in campaigning for global justice, debt reduction, fair-trade and many more important and relevant causes over the years. The organisation got charitable status in 2001, moved to Lowthians Lane, to the site of Carlisle World Shop in 2004 and to the flat upstairs in 2006 and has gone from strength to strength over the years.

Currently projects under COWC include the work of Carlisle Refugee Action Group to welcome and support refugees, the efforts to create social and cultural opportunities for international women living in the city, campaigns against the proposed cuts in overseas aid, COVID vaccine equality as well as the ongoing work to promote Fairtrade and a range of community projects in partnership with Sustainable Carlisle, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Borderlines Book Festival, Multicultural Cumbria and other local and countywide groups.

Plans for the next year, with the topical theme of Global Heath and Unity Year, include talks, both online and face to face on water and sanitation, international aid issues, carbon reduction strategies in the run up to COP 26 and much more.


Canon Jim Hyslop, current co-chair of COWC, said ‘it has been an honour and a privilege to have been involved with COWC over the past 20 years. We have done a lot in trying to keep the needs of others across the world on the agenda of the people of Carlisle and we are proud of what we have achieved, especially things like Carlisle becoming one of the first cities in the UK to become a Fairtrade city in 2005.’

If you'd like to send in some of your memories of COWC just get in touch by emailing We will be putting together an exhibition for our AGM in October 2021.