Muriel and Doris Lester &
The Heritage of the Kingsley Hall Community Centres
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This document is an early constitution for Kingsley Hall Bow. The date on the document is being determined.
The names of the Centres shall be Kingsley Hall and The Children's
The ideas on which Kingsley Hall work and witness are based were
thought out, discussed and decided on, by a group of six men of Bow,
Ben Platten, and Muriel Lester. They met together at nine o'clock
every Sunday morning for ten weeks in the Spring of 1914 to plan what
sort of a place they would like to set up in the neighbourhood, if
they had the money and the opportunity, in order to enrich the common
life of the people.
The Basis and Aims are the outcome of their deliberations.
1. BASIS AND AIMS.
(a) Kingsley Hall is dedicated to God.
(b) Kingsley Hall is a place of fellowship in which men and women can
meet for social, educational, and recreational intercourse without
barriers at class, nation, or creed. It is a place where all are
welcomed and honoured, rich and poor, coloured and white, enemy or
Kingsley Hall stands for the enrichment of the common life and the
development of the whole personality -
(c) Kingsley Hall depends for its protection and well being on the
actual presence of God rather than on the police and the military.
(d) Its job is to spread the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now; in the
streets of BoW. All clubs, classes, camps, sports, socials and
meetings, should serve this end.
(e) Instead of dispensing charity to its neighbours Kingsley Hall
looks to them for financial support. It depends on the voluntary help
of all its members and friends rather than on paid labour.
(f) Entrance charges shall be kept low enough to be within the reach
(g) Because they are anti-
betting, etc., shall have no place in the programme.
These aims are not intended to be fetters but guides towards unlimited
(a) Full Members. As distinct from members of its various clubs and
other organisations, Full Members of Kingsley Hall shall be those who,
accepting the aims and basis outlined in the Constitution, have been
recommended by the Members' Council and accepted by the Warden and
(b) Subscription. Full Members shall pay an annual subscription, the
amount to be revised from time to time as required. They shall be
entitled to a card of Full Membership.
A. Trustees. The Trustees, who are a self-
ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the aims set forth in the
Trust Deed be maintained. They are responsible for all properties and
shall ensure that they be maintained in good repair and that they be
used for purposes in accordance with the basis and aims.
Provided that this be done, the Trustees shall not interfere with the
organisation or conduct of the work. They shall meet as and when
B.Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, originally appointed
by the Trustees, shall be self-
(i) Be responsible to the Trustees for the work of the Centres as a
(ii) Decide on policy in consultation with the Warden.
(iii) Be responsible for finance.
(iv) Appoint Household and Honorary Officers after consultation with the
(v) Appoint the Warden after consultation with the Trustees.
The Executive Committee shall meet at frequent intervals with a
minimum of one meeting in every three months.
C. Leaders' Meeting. The Leaders' Meeting shall:-
(i) Be composed of the Warden and those who are responsible as Leaders
of the various sections of the work whether as members of the
Household, the Fellowship, or as Full Members.
(ii) Undertake definite responsibility for carrying out the
programme and ensuring co-
(iii) Make recommendations on any matters to the Executive Committee.
D. Church Fellowship. Founded in 1924, the Church Fellowship is
Kingsley Hall. The membership is open to all who love Jesus Christ and
delight to worship and work together. Its basis is set forth on the
membership card of the Fellowship as quoted below. *
It is responsible for all services of Worship, Communion, Dedication,
Baptism, Marriage, Funeral and Commemoration.
It holds a monthly business meeting and appoints its representative to
the 'Members) Council and to the Leaders' Meeting.
* "Our hearts are linked in the supreme personality of Jesus Christ,
whom we all acknowledge as the revealer of God's nature and will. We
are convinced that it is only by each one of us applying God's
method of Love, as revealed in Jesus, to industry, commerce,
occupation, politics, national, social and home life, that human
society can be purged of its evils. The existence of Jesus gives
us authority and inspiration for what we are doing."
E. Household. The household shall consist of those who give full-
service to Kingsley Hall. Its members shall:
(i) Maintain the buildings in working order, cleanliness and beauty.
(ii) Keep Kingsley Hall programme going in constant co operation with
members, neighbours) and other helpers.
(iii) Contribute to the Christian witness among Kingsley Hall members
and throughout the neighbourhood.
(iv) Appoint a representative to the Members' Council and to the
F. Members' Council. The Members' Council shall:-
(i) Include representatives of all Kingsley Hall groups and
clubs. These shall be appointed by their organisations and must be
Full Members of Kingsley Hall. It shall also include representatives
from the Executive Committee and from the Leaders' Meeting. It shall
meet under the chairmanship of the Warden.
(ii) Make recommendations on any matters to the Executive Committee.
(iii) Appoint representatives to other bodies where desired.
(iv) Share in raising funds.
(v) Meet at regular intervals.
G. Joint Meetings.
(i) It is desirable that the Leaders' Meeting and Members' Council
shall hold joint sessions periodically and that occasionally these two
bodies shall meet with the Executive Committee.
(ii) A General Meeting shall be held, as and when desired, for the
whole of the membership and the Executive Committee,
H. Groups and Organisations. As far as possible each group or
organisation shall have its own committee and officers. Each committee
shall be responsible for the activities and conduct of its own Group
I. The Warden. The Warden shall be a member of the Executive Committee
and an ex-
she) shall direct and organise the work and shall decide general
policy in conjunction with the Executive Committee. He (or she) shall,
together with the committee, be responsible for appointments of new
Kingsley Hall Bow – Constitution
|World War One|
|World War II|
|Doris with children|
|Lester Family Tree (manuscript)|
|Lester Family Tree|
|KH Bow Constitution|
|KH Bow Building|
|Tour of KH Bow|
|"Mad to be Normal"|
|Sydney J Russell|
|KH Dagenham Buildings|
|KH Dag Buildings Plaque|
|Childrens House Mural|
|Evening with Muriel Lester May 13, 2015|