The FISH movement began in England in 1961 under the leadership of Reverend Derek Eastman, pastor of an Angelican church in old Headington, and Dr. Donald Richards, a layman. It was born in a burst of conviction by both pastors and people. They believed that one of the prime causes that time of malaise had been the rapid decline of old-fashioned neighborliness – caring about others.
The FISH symbol is the same of that secretly used by early Christians during centuries of persecution to identify themselves to each other.
Volunteers for specific services were recruited from parishioners and a card carrying the FISH symbol and the instruction, “If you need help of any kind, put me in your window.” It was distributed to every home in the village. Each block had a street warden, identified by a metal FISH mounted on his gate or door. A card in the window signaled to any passers-by that a neighbor was in some sort of distress, which reported to the warden would set him into immediate action.
News of this unique way of expressing Christian concern for others spread rapidly through Britain and to other European countries. The idea crossed the Atlantic with William Turpin, a friend of Robert Lee Howell, of the church of the Good Shepherd in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
Soon after its formation in West Springfield, FISH took on its present universal character as other churches – Catholic and protestant – joined in its sponsorship. Though nobody knows its exact number since there are no central headquarters or clearinghouses, more than 100 chapters are thought to be operating in the United States today.
FISH of Commerce City, Inc. was started in some homes in 1975 and was incorporated as a non-profit organization on July 26, 1979. FISH is an all-volunteer organization, which has no paid members. FISH is a Proud Partner of the Food Bank of the Rockies.
Our Saviour Lutheran Church has been the home of the FISH Food Bank since 2015.