WHCM was founded in the Christian ethos and originally called West Ham Central Mission, it was set up by the Rowntree Clifford family who were Baptists and two deaconesses. The initial set up was to respond to poverty and deprivation in the West Ham area during 1905. People in East London at the time lived in slums and relied on the docks for their work. The missions work continued through the First World War and a hostel built by the Rowntree Cliffords provided accommodation to people made homeless after an explosion in a munition’s factory. In December 1918 HRH Queen Mary paid a surprise visit to the mission. The mission church was built in the 1920’s and during the Second World War was a soup kitchen, night shelter and provider of medical services.
The work of the mission has changed over the years in response to the needs of the population it serves. The charity became more involved with social care and helping those with mental health distress. In 2013 the WHCM changed its name to better reflect the work it now carries out, to Renew Counselling.
This is a small localised charity who were set up to provide high quality, effective and affordable counselling to help people face whatever life throws at them and to make the best of future opportunities. They also help young people who have not been in education for various reasons to reconnect with it and form those important relationships with others.
The charity is Bacp accredited for the work they carry out with children and adults. They are a non-judgmental organisation which will treat and help people of all faiths to live a full and engaging life.
Renew Counselling now provides services for people who cannot access or afford services elsewhere in East London and across Essex. The founding faith and vision which inspired the Baptist minster Robert Rowntree Clifford and his family, is still present today. If you would like to donate to help them continue their valued and important work you can it in the following ways:
- Send a cheque payable to ‘Hornchurch PCC’ to St Andrew’s, clearly marked on the back ‘Renew counselling charity of the month’.
- Donate directly to them via their website https://www.renew-us.org/donations/