Our Heritage

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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 people's collective desire to help children and young people is linked to, regardless of their own beliefs.

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.

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.