Whitechapel Mission

Methodist Mission built to designs by Lee Reading & Associates, 1969-71, with chapel to north, hostel to south

Notes on the Mission site
Contributed by Survey of London on Sept. 4, 2017

Constructed 1969-71 to designs by Lee Reading & Associates, 212 Whitechapel Road has long been associated with the The Whitechapel Mission. Its history can be traced back to the late eighteenth century when the Countess of Huntingdon funded the purchase of a former theatre building in order to precipitate its conversion into the Sion Chapel for her Connexion (a non-conformist group of Calvinistic Methodists). Situated on the site of present-day St Boniface, this congregation's occupation of its first building continued into the 1860s. Following relocation to this site the 'New' Sion Chapel was built facing on Whitechapel Road in 1866–7. Following a transfer to a group of Independents in the 1890s the building assumed the name Brunswick Congregational Chapel. In 1906 it was sold to the Primitive Methodists for use by the Whitechapel Mission which from the 1920s provided night-time shelter for homeless men here. The present building originally comprised a chapel above shops, an assembly hall, offices, a hostel and a basement shelter for down and outs. The hostel has been converted to flats, but the mission continues to serve the area's homeless.

Whitechapel Methodist Mission, view from the south-east
Contributed by Lucy Millson-Watkins

View of terraced houses on the east side of Cavell Street in 1956
Contributed by Historic England