Hugh Price Hughes was an energetic and enterprising Methodist Minister who founded the West London Mission in 1887. He was a proponent of what he called ‘Social Christianity’ which was in contrast to the Christianity he saw around him, which in his words has ‘been too speculative, too sentimental, too individualistic.’
His founding of the West London Mission embodied his desire to see the Christian faith have a social and political impact and to be ‘applied to all aspects of life’. Right from its start, as well as having thousands come to its weekly services, WLM established a soup kitchen, a food depot, a clothing store as well as a labour exchange for the unemployed and a ‘Poor Man’s Lawyer’. Later they would establish the first ever Creche for working mothers and open hostels for unmarried mothers who had to leave home.
Today, WLM employs over 70 people in a wide ranging work with people affected by homelessness, addictions and offending. It is my privilege to lead this work.
Three faces of poverty
Every year, a series of lectures is held in memory of Hugh Price Hughes at Hinde Street Methodist Church, where WLM is now based.
I will be giving the closing lecture in this year’s series on Tuesday 9th June. I will be speaking on ‘Homelessness and the three faces of poverty’. I will be talking about how homelessness in the UK embodies the fusion of these three faces of poverty and how this needs to inform our practical, political and theological response.
The lecture starts at 7.30pm on Tuesday 9th June and is at Hinde Street Methodist Church, London W1U 2QJ which is 5 minutes walk from Bond Street tube.
Entrance is free and everyone (but especially R&R readers) are very welcome!
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