Where we came from.

Our founder, Clarence Snyder, was one of the original 40 members of AA who achieved sobriety in the 1930s. His story is in the first three editions of the big book entitled “The Home Brewmeister”.

During the 1960s he was taking so many people through the 12 steps that he couldn’t keep up. He founded Came to Believe to run weekend retreats to help groups of people to achieve sobriety by going through the steps over the three days.

His retreats are still running over 50 years later and still follow exactly the same format as they did back in the day.


How we came to the UK.

Paul Doyle, an AA member from Plymouth travelled to the US and met Clarence’s wife, Grace. He attended a retreat over there in 1989 and it changed his life. It had such a big impact on him that he became determined to carry it over to England. He organised the first UK Came to Believe retreat in 1991 in Plymouth.

That was thirty years ago and we have grown in the UK considerably over that period. There are now fourteen retreats a year in the UK and five more in Europe. This number continues to grow.

As long as there are struggling alcoholics there will be retreats running. To read Pauls Story Click Here.

How it works.

The way our retreats are organised they have a really high success rate of over 90%. Compare this with the success rate of AA as a whole and it is very much higher.

When asked how the retreats worked Clarence would say “They work great!”. Because the formula does work so well we don’t change it. The original message of AA was simple and the 12 steps were at the core. The success rate in the 30s was very high and it was due to those twelve magical ingredients.

The reason we are called Came to Believe comes from step 2 which is central to our message.

Came to Believe is a not for profit charity made up of volunteers.

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