Our Heritage

Our Heritage

Spurgeons was founded in 1867 as an orphanage for “fatherless boys” by leading Baptist preacher and writer Charles Haddon Spurgeon and his associates.

Practical response

As a prominent Christian of his day, Spurgeon’s practical response to the Bible’s teaching was to provide orphaned and vulnerable children in London with shelter, education and the hope of a better future.

Following a generous donation from an Anglican widow, Spurgeon and his associates founded the Stockwell Orphanage in south London. Within 10 years of opening, girls were also welcomed into the orphanage and over 500 children lived there.

Commitment to our heritage

The charity looks very different today, 150 years since it was founded, but you will still find us at the heart of communities and our aim remains the same – to improve the lives of families and children who are struggling to cope and give them a hope-filled future.

We are very proud of our heritage and we still bear our founder’s name. By keeping Charles Spurgeon at the heart of our identity and mission, it reaffirms our commitment to continue the work he started.

View the slide show to learn more about our heritage and to see some historical photos.

Spurgeons was founded in 1867

Spurgeons was founded in 1867 as a compassionate and distinctively Christian response to the plight of orphaned and vulnerable children in London. Motivated by their faith, Charles Haddon Spurgeon and his associates sought to provide shelter, education and the hope of a better future.

Today you will find us at the heart of communities – listening, learning and building trust to make a lasting difference. Our Christian faith remains an active and important motivation for the work we do. It forms the roots with which our peoples collective desire to help children and young people is linked to, regardless of their own beliefs.

Our History

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was England’s best-known Baptist preacher. At 20 years old Spurgeon became pastor of London’s famed New Park Street Church.

As well as his preaching, Spurgeon was very passionate about helping disadvantaged street children in London.

Spurgeons charity was founded in 1867 when Anne Hillyard donated £20,000 to Charles Spurgeon, to be used to open an orphanage for boys. As a result Stockwell orphanage was opened in 1869. 10 years later, girls were welcome to Stockwell orphanage. By the time the girls' dormitories were complete there were 500 children living here.

Even after Spurgeon's death, his work to improve the lives of children carried on in the orphanage. The children had special occasions to look forward to, such as Founder's day to celebrate the birth of Charles Spurgeon, Christmas, outings to the beach. They even had a visit from the Duchess of York, who later became the Queen Mother, for their Founder's day celebrations.

When the Second World War had been announced in 1939 the children living at Stockwell orphanage had to be evacuated.  The majority of the children were moved to St. David's in Reigate, Surrey, where the children occupied themselves by looking after the animals there.

In 1951 the home in Birchington, Kent, was opened and became the new children's home for Spurgeons. By 1953 all of the children were relocated here.  It remained open until 1979, when children were sent to smaller homes or foster families.

Modern Day

Today Spurgeons helps over 37,000 children and young people and over 64,000 parents and carers . Through the delivery of support and intervention services and by speaking up on behalf of those who need us most, we give vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families the chance they need for a better present and more hope filled future.

150 years later, we're still here.  Although the face of our work has changed, our work is as relevant today as it was then. 

We hope you will continue to be part of our ongoing journey to give hope to every child.

  • 1834

    1834

    Charles Spurgeon was born

  • 1869

    1869

    Stockwell Orphanage opened in 1869

  • 1897

    1897

    Girls were welcomed 10 years after Stockwell opened its doors

  • 1900

    1900

    Even after Spurgeon's death, his work to improve the lives of children carried on in the orphanage.

  • 1920

    1920

    Stockwell had a visit from the Duchess of York, who later became the Queen Mother, for their Founder's day celebrations

  • 1939

    1939

    When the Second World War was announced in 1939 the children living at Stockwell orphanage had to be evacuated

  • 1942

    1942

    The children would occupy themselves during the war by looking after animals

  • 1979

    1979

    The home at Birchington was open until 1979 when children were sent to smaller homes or foster families

  • 1991

    1991

    From 1991 Spurgeons carried out international work in Romania, Kenya, Nigeria and Moldova, which was passed onto other projects in 2011.

  • 2017

    2017

    Guided by our Christian faith, we work in partnership with others, building strong relationships within communities to improve the lives of children and families struggling to cope. Our Vision is to give every child the opportunity to live a hope filled life.

Contact Details

74 Wellingborough Road
Rushden
Northants
NN10 9TY
01933 412412

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Copyright © 2017 Spurgeons/Registered charity no: 1081182