‘A forgotten people’, this was the term used by Graham Miller (CEO of London City Mission) to describe a significant proportion of the population of London. At a recent meeting at London City Mission headquarters, in the shadow of Tower Bridge, Graham gave a keynote talk in which he described the work of the Mission in reaching out to this group. Founded just over 180 years ago, LCM began working amongst the poorest in the most difficult circumstances and the vision remains the same today – to reach out to those who feel marginalised and/or forgotten. Graham described how, at the start of the year, LCM was concerned about the continuing high number of stabbings in the capital (largely unreported in the press). He then went on to talk about the impact of the terrorist attacks; indeed, he was speaking in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and outlined how missionaries seek to contact and build relationships with this “forgotten people”. For example, LCM staff members went out among the group seeking to offer support after the tragedy.
So the mission’s commitment to the marginalised shows a continuity over nearly two centuries but what has changed is shown in some of the ways they now carry out the work. Later on in the day, we went out in groups to see some aspects of the work being done. I was able to visit the Husk Café and Creative Space in Limehouse. (Apparently, “husk” is Danish for “remember” – the café is housed in the former base of the Danish Seamen’s Mission.) As well as a thriving café, there is also space for outreach to the community which is largely Bengali/Sylheti speaking. The group was able to walk around the area with two of the missionaries who are based at Husk. It was obvious they knew their “patch” really well. It was inspiring to hear how they aimed to befriend people and seek to minister to them.
If ever you find yourself on the DLR with time to spare, I recommend getting off at Limehouse and crossing the road for a cup of their excellent coffee. You will also get a flavour of the work of the London City Mission reaching out to a London less well-known or well-heeled.
To find out more about the amazing work that LCM are doing including training to equip you to share the gospel, why not visit their website https://www.lcm.org.uk/
Dianna Elliot (Pastoral Co-ordinator)