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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LMA/4474
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1888-1988
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2.21 linear meters
Name of creator(s): Methodist Church of Great Britain x United Methodist Church x Wesleyan Methodist Church x Primitive Methodist Church


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1887 Hugh Price Hughes was appointed the first Superintendent Minister of the West London Mission. Together with his wife, Katherine, he developed practical programmes for the poor and laid the foundations for much of the Mission's work. Katherine herself was responsible for the establishment of 'The Sisters of the People', an order of women serving the poor.

Initially the Mission was based in St. James's Hall in Piccadilly from where the inaugural service was given on 21 October 1887. Hughes died in 1902 and three years later in 1905 St. James's Hall was demolished. There followed a period of movement for the West London Mission and its congregation. First relocating to Exeter Hall, in 1907 the Mission moved to Great Queen Street before renting the Lyceum Theatre in 1909.

The movement of the mission could only be a temporary measure until suitable accommodation was found. In 1911 institutional buildings at Kingsway Hall, Holborn were completed and in 1912 the Hall opened for public services. With a hall designed to seat 2,000 people and institutional buildings with space for a gymnasium, boys and girls clubs, schoolrooms and lecture halls, and a crèche it seemed as though the West London Mission had found its home.

In 1936 a second great figure in the Mission's history, Donald Soper, went to Kingsway Hall. He would remain as Superintendent until his retirement in 1978. At this time the relocation of the Mission once again became a necessary consideration.

By 1980 Kingsway Hall was no longer fit for purpose and the West London Mission offices and Kingsway Hall congregation moved to Hinde Street. A Methodist chapel had stood on Hinde Street since 1810 and had become part of the West London Mission in 1917. From this new home activities such as a Wednesday club and an open-access provision for the homeless were able to continue.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the West London Mission, 1888-1988, including minute books from Staff meetings, Finance Committee meetings, Foreign Missionary Committee meetings, Local Preacher's meetings, Women's Work Committee meetings and Sunday School Committee meetings; financial accounts; general correspondence; annual reports of the West London Mission; annual reports of the Social and Redemptive Work amongst Women and Girls; annual reports of the West London Rehabilitation Centre for Alcoholics; publication Portraits and Pictures of the West London Mission (1893); newsletters and magazines; advertisements and appeals; photographs.

Also Kingsway Hall Trust lettings ledger; Kingsway Hall collection journal and Kingsway Hall Creche Committee papers and promotional brochures.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LMA/4474/01: West London Mission and LMA/4474/02: Kingsway Hall.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Recieved in 2003 (B03/101).

Allied Materials

Related material:

LMA collections N/M/001, N/M/002, N/M/008 and LMA/4269.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to March 2009

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