Category Archives: Religion and the East End

Whitechapel to Sierra Leone

Number 212 Whitechapel High Street is an unremarkable stretch of London street today — though doubtless home to good works as the site of the Methodist Church’s Whitechapel Mission. But two centuries ago, it was one of the linchpins of a … Continue reading

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William West — unwitting Jack the Ripper suspect

It was the end of a long day for William West as he left the offices of the Worker’s Friend newspaper in Whitechapel, with the street lamps barely penetrating the unlit Dutfield’s Yard. A normal day for the young immigrant. … Continue reading

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St Patrick’s Day … London Irish historical connections

I REALISED as I looked around my Essex classroom 40-odd years ago that pretty much all of us came from somewhere else. The name were Jewish, Welsh, Scots or Irish: even digging back a couple of generations, my own provenance … Continue reading

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Cosmo Lang, Bishop of Stepney, Archbishop of Canterbury

ARCHBISHOPS of Canterbury are swiftly forgotten after their reign is over (the odd Thomas A Becket aside). The cleric simply joins the dozens who have filled the role over a millennium and a half – and time rolls on. But … Continue reading

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Peter Kuenstler at Oxford House

View Peter Kuenstler at Oxford House in a larger map By the time of Peter Kuenstler’s arrival a lot had changed since the pioneering days of the East End settlements. In the 1880s, social reformers such as Samuel Barnett had … Continue reading

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Frederick Charrington

Frederick Charrington had everything going for him. He was young, tall, good-looking and, best of all, he stood to come into millions as heir to one of the great brewing families of the East End. But Fred was no idle … Continue reading

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Christ Church Spitalfields

Christ Church, Spitalfields was officially reopened last week after 30 years of restoration work, £10m spent, and a battle for its survival that started back in the fifties and sixties. The brief for Nicholas Hawksmoor’s masterpiece in 1714 demanded that … Continue reading

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Charles Booth in the East End

The Victorian philanthropists came to their calling by a number of routes. Often it was religious piety that led them to descend into the abyss of the East End, and to help the people there lead ‘better’ lives. The young … Continue reading

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Amazing Grace … the John Newton story

Amazing Grace … the John Newton story John Newton crossed the seas of the world many times in his career as merchant seaman and slave trader. But none of his journeys was so great as that he made from a … Continue reading

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