Thomas Bowman Stephenson from the north of England had a passionate commitment to social justice and campaigned on behalf of the vulnerable of his day. From the time he moved to London he challenged the Methodist church to address the plight of homeless children on the streets ofLondon. In 1869, young Methodist minister decided to take action and with the help of two Methodist friends, Alfred Mager and Francis Horner, he converted a disused stable block into the Children’s Home. Stephenson’s vision was of a family style system of child care which would be disciplined but loving, unlike the hated workhouse. Stephenson’s recognition of the importance of professional training was a significant contribution to the development of childcare in the UK.
Over time, work has shifted away from children’s homes towards community based projects like children’s centres, supporting vulnerable families and trying to prevent potential problems.
The Methodist church has been in a working partnership for 140 years and many supporters have home collecting boxes which are emptied once a year, in our case in October, and the money sent to Action for Children. Last year £300.39 was collected from the collecting boxes as well as £160 from a concert and £230.53 from the Christingle service.
If you would like a home collecting box please contact Janet Padwick on 673831.