More than one hundred and fifty years ago Victorian timber tycoon James Harvey moved to Hampstead with one thing on his mind. A widower, Harvey was father to one son, Alfred James, and Alfred was so ill the doctors said there was only one hope. The little family would have to leave Bloomsbury Square: they needed to live somewhere where there was a slim chance ‘the delicate health of the child’ might recover in fresher, cleaner air.
James chose Hampstead, and from the first week he arrived he would go each Sunday to the house just round the corner where the local Baptist community met for worship and prayer. But that was soon to change. The church’s prayers for Alfred were heard, the boy recovered, and his father felt the time had come to show his gratitude in a big way.
That’s how an answer to prayer led to the purchase of this land and the building of this church, and though a century and a half has passed the church is still standing, and the commmunity here is still here to welcome newcomers and serve our community as best we can.
This is a place where the homeless are fed each week. This is a place where parents and carers, babies and children gather to relax and recharge. This is a place where asylum seekers don’t just get a helping hand but play a vital role. This is a place where beginners and professionals make music every day, this is a place where faith is questioned and challenged, awakened and enriched.
But right now we need more of the kind of generosity James Harvey showed back in 1862. Our building’s Bath Stone façade is not as young as it was, and substantial repairs are need to ensure it remains safe and secure. The full scope of works will cost more than £150, 000 and (along with Sts. Stephen and Cecilia!) we encourage you to think what you can do to help.