London City Mission

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 centred 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 appointed 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 fire 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 Church Mission Society

The Church Mission Society (CMS), formerly in Britain and currently in Australia and New Zealand known as the Church Missionary Society, is a mission society working with the Anglican Communion, Protestant, and Orthodox Christians around the world. Founded in 1799, CMS has attracted over nine thousand men and women to serve as mission partners during its 200-year history. The society has also given its name "CMS" to a number of daughter organisations around the world.

The original proposal for the mission came from Charles Grant and George Uday of the East India Company and the Rev. David Brown, of Calcutta, who sent a proposal in 1787 to William Wilberforce, then a young member of parliament, and Charles Simeon, a young clergyman at Cambridge University. The Baptist Missionary Society was formed in 1792 and the London Missionary Society was formed in 1795 to represent various evangelical denominations.

The Society for Missions to Africa and the East (as the society was first called) was founded on 12 April 1799 at a meeting of the Eclectic Society, supported by members of the Clapham Sect, a group of activist evangelical Christians, who met under the guidance of John Venn, the Rector of Clapham. Their number included Charles Simeon, Basil Woodd, Henry Thornton, Thomas Babington and William Wilberforce.

Wilberforce was asked to be the first president of the society, but he declined to take on this role and became a vice-president. The treasurer was Henry Thornton and the founding secretary was Thomas Scott, a biblical commentator.

Many of the founders were also involved in creating the Sierra Leone Company and the Society for the Education of Africans.

A Personal Insight

by Nick Wilkins

I’m delighted to bring the London City Mission (LCM) to everyone’s attention as a charity for the months of July and August and these charity months are shared with the Church Mission Society.

People might be interested to learn of the rather unlikely family background to my choice of the LCM.

My father was born in a public house, The Blue Anchor, in St Mary Cray in 1924, his father, my grandfather, being the publican. The Blue Anchor was converted to apartments some ten or so years ago, so no longer exists as a pub. In my early years I was aware of the intriguing assertion that the Wilkins family had moved from being Missionaries to Publicans within a few generations and so, a few years ago I started doing some family research.

I followed the Wilkins line back to a William Wilkins, my great, great, great grandfather and in the 1861 Census saw that his Rank, Profession or Occupation was a described as an Agent of The London City Mission. His address was 2 Bath Grove, Bethnal Green. Additionally, on the marriage certificate of his son, also William in 1863 (my 2x great grandfather), the rank or profession of father was stated as City Missionary.

Armed with this information, I contacted the LCM and a researcher there kindly did some further investigating and produced some poignant and moving information about my (3x) great grandfather.

It covers the time from his first interview in April 1845, completion of probationary period in August 1845 and other interesting facts up to the time he was pensioned off due to ill health in 1874. and his death in 1878.
One extract from 1878 says ‘Our dear brother, Wm Wilkins was called to his rest on Sunday, March 17th, at the age of seventy-three years. He entered the service of the Mission in April 1845, and spent nearly thirty years in patient labour among the poor of Bethnal Green, in some of its most necessitous districts, and at a time when Christian workers were few, and the people much more depraved than they are now.” The LCM continues this excellent work to this day and this is why I have nominated them to be a charity of the months of July and August.

I hope we can generously support this work and please look out for fund raising activities.

Charities for 2018:

Month Charity
Jan / Feb Certitude
March MIND
April / May Christian Aid
(May / June The Parish Fete)
July / August London City Mission /
Church Mission Society
September Friends of St. Giles
October Poverty and Hope
November CRISIS
December Welcare in Bromley
IIf you would like any information about the Charity in Focus scheme, do please get in touch with our co-ordinator:

Helen Roberts 01689 851267

Money Raised 2017:

Month Charity
Jan/Feb The Maypole Project £354
March Water Aid £1,436
April/May Christian Aid* £900
(May/June The Parish Fete £3,500)
Jul/Aug Medicins Sans Frontiere £521
September The Stroke Association £349
October Poverty and Hope £610
November Crisis £1,004
December ABCD - Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability ** £1,646
Total (excl. Parish Fete) £6,820
  (Total in 2016 £6,149)

* excludes street collections £373

** Toys and Gifts from the Toy Service went to Welcare in Bromley


Charity Film Night:
Finding Your Feet

Monday 24th September
8:15 St. Giles Centre

Finding Your Feet is a 2017 romantic comedy film directed by Richard Loncraine and written by Nick Moorcroft and Meg Leonard.

The film stars Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Joanna Lumley, and David Hayman.

Please not that here will be no Charity Film night during August.

About Charity in Focus

In matters of faith and religion talk can be easy.  The bible teaches us that if we cannot love the brother or sister who we can see how can we love God who we cannot. At St. Giles we seek to put love into action by supporting a range of charities and good causes.  


There is obviously a tremendous amount of need in our own country and across the world with many charities seeking our support. During the course of the year a number of designated charity is supported by our community.  Funds are raised in various ways including Coffee Mornings, Cake Sales, donations and sponsored events. 

There are specific charities which are supported each year on a regular basis,  the remaining months are available for parishioners to choose a charity whose aims and objectives are close to their heart. If you would like to sponsor a charity, or any further information,  then please contact our co-ordinator:

Helen Roberts 01689 851267