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London City Mission

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London City Mission was set up by David Nasmith on 16 May 1835 in the Hoxton area of east London. The first paid missionary was Lindsay Burfoot. [1]. Today it is part of the wider City Mission Movement.

The London City Mission's early work centered on the poor and destitute, developing a wide range of charitable help including Ragged Schools and ministering to working people. One missionary wrote Last year I walked 3,000 miles on London pavements, paid 1,300 visits, 300 of which were to sick and dying cab men. Missionaries were also apppinted to visit members of London's new fire service. The service's first Chief, James Braidwood, introduced the first such missionary in 1854. Within five years the missionary was visiting nineteen fore stations throughout London, ministering to 450 people (firemen, their wives and dependents).

The first Ragged School established by the London City Mission was in 1835 in a disused stable in the City of Westminster. It was established by the missionary Andrew Walker with a charitable donation fund-raised by Lord Shaftesbury amongst his colleagues in, and visitors to, the Houses of Parliament. Lord Shaftesbury became an ardent supporter of the Mission.

The best example of the work of the Mission in modern times is the ground breaking and hugely succesful youth work carried out via the London City Mission Camps and their East London schools work by William and Hazel Randel. Their base in the East End of London, and the work of the camps they led for several decades, have resulted in a generation of children from all over London and beyond being effectivly prepared for life in the modern twenty first century church. That their work has been both successful and popular, at a time when other Church Youth Work agencies have struggled, is an example of the way in which the principles of the London City Mission have translated effectivly into the modern age.

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