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Spurgeons Head Office in Fitzwilliam Street

Rushden Echo, 2nd May 1924

26 years ago - May 1898

The Rev. Thomas Spurgeon, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle (son of C H Spurgeon), visited Mr John Cave at the Cottage, Rushden.

Spurgeons was founded in 1867 when Anne Hillyard, a London widow, read an article by famous Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon and donated £20,000 to found an orphanage for fatherless boys.

Since then, the charity has undergone much change and development, always seeking to respond with compassion and professionalism to the needs of children and young people.

Today the Christian faith is more than just a piece of our history and remains an active and important motivation for the work Spurgeons does as we journey with vulnerable children and young people to create a lasting impact, spurring them on within their families and communities, by building self-esteem, resilience and hope.

Our head office is based in Wellingborough Road, Rushden and we work with vulnerable children and young people across the UK.

In the UK, we work with young carers and children separated from their parents, and are engaged in youthwork and running children’s centres. Our staff and volunteers also offer bereavement and loss counselling, befriending and mentoring, and parenting and family support.

We worked overseas for more than 15 years, when we were based in Romania and Moldova, as well as in East Africa where we ran child sponsorship schemes in Kenya and Uganda.

Our work is now only based in the UK.

For more details please visit or telephone 01933 412412.

Registered charity no. 1081182

some of the children playing outside the school children at school
Pictures taken at one of the centres in Africa in 2009

in Africa Shanty town African shanty town
Pictures showing living conditions in Africa when Spurgeons workers helped children - taken in 2009

Brief history of Spurgeons
Rev Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote an article in "The Sword & the Trowel" containing the words "A great effort should be made to multiply our day schools and to render them distinctly religious by teaching the Gospel in them, and by labouring to bring these children as children to the Lord Jesus".
Article seen by Mrs Anne Hillyard, widow of an Anglican clergyman, who offered £20,000 to CHS if he would open a home for fatherless boys where they would receive a Christian upbringing.
March - Trust Deed signed, land purchased at Stockwell in south west London.
September - foundations stone laid for first of 3 houses, 3 further houses added later.
Girls accepted.
More land was purchased and 6 girls houses were added. CHS then had a family of 500 fatherless boys and girls.
CHS died, succeeded as President by his brother Dr J A Spurgeon.
Seaside home in Margate opened. Dr J A Spurgeon died just before it opened, but he had already commenced publishing 'Within our Gates'. This, in a simpler form is still published and sent to all our 'Old Scholars' (people who were in one of our orphanages), 3 times per year.
Rev. Thomas and Charles Spurgeon (sons of CHS) carried on the work. Today, the Spurgeon family is still represented, as J Archer Spurgeon who has been a Trustee for many years, was created Life President in 1997.
Rev Charles Haddon preached around the country following the Jubilee in 1917 and together with one large legacy, money was raised to purchase Birchington Hall, Birchington, Kent. Children were transferred from Margate. Attached to the property was a farm of 40 acres.
Change in the Trust Deed of Homes allowed 100 motherless girls to be transferred from the Brixton Orphanage. Most were accommodated in existing houses, but two houses adjoining the entrance of the Homes on the Clapham Road were purchased.
28 children received from the Twynham Orphanage, Fulham when it was closed.
1st September Boys were evacuated to Godalming, Surrey .
November Girls moved to St. Davids, Reigate which had been purchased just before the war.
June Boys transferred to Reigate
Under the new Education Act, all children needing secondary education had to go to schools outside the homes, where previously they had been educated at the homes. The only primary school retained was at St. Davids.
After War
Stockwell was old and badly damaged and the Reigate site was not suitable, so the Trustees took the decision to develop the farm land at Birchington.
September - First contingent of boys moved to Birchington.
April - The remainder of the children from Reigate moved to Birchington. Stockwell and Reigate were sold.
Birchington officially opened by the Duchess of Gloucester.
When the homes started, lowest age for admission was 7 years. From 1954 babies were accepted. The Trust Deed had been extended so children in any kind of need could be accepted.
Centenary celebrated and new Babies Home opened at Birchington.
Last boy leaves Birchington, which is closed and subsequently sold for housing development.
Spurgeon's move into 'Foster' style homes in Bromley, Luton, Bedford and Coventry.
Opening of Day Care Centres in Bedford, Coventry and Wolverhampton with extended work with young people and one parent families. Beginning of Partnerships with Local Authorities.
Administration Office moved to Bedford with small office retained at Birchington.
Opening of first Church based partnership with Stopsley Baptist Church in Luton.
Appointment of Chief Executive, Mr David Culwick.
First visit to Romania. Messrs. Culwick, Morton with Rev. Clive Doubleday.
Opening of first 'Kindergarten' in Romania.
First contact with Reachout Ministries in Uganda.
November - Head Office moved to Rushden.
First contact with Mexico project in association with Rev Dr J Reid, Ventura California USA.
Training visit to Uganda by Val Moss. Subsequent training in Ghana in 1998.
First Training visit to Riga, Latvia by Glenn Wood and Lyn Berman.
Subsequent visits by Glenn Wood and Val Floy.
Opening of second kindergarten in Lasi, Romania and purchase of land for playground.
Opening of kindergarten in Arad, Romania and 50th Project in England.
Over 60 projects in the UK. Increased to 9 Regional Managers, 2 Regional Directors
2 additional projects in Romania - Bucharest and Ploiesti.
Appointment of Tim Jeffery as Chief Executive.
Over 100 projects in the UK. New Strategy for organisation defined. Launch of Spurgeons Network for churches.
All our work is now continued only in the UK.

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