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The Leysian Mission
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What is the Leysian Mission?

Wesley’s Chapel and the Leysian Mission came together on Easter day 1989 to form the present Methodist circuit, a strong mix of two very distinct identities.

The Leys School was opened in Cambridge in 1875; just two years after non-Anglicans were admitted to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It was intended to be “the Methodist Eton”. Its first headmaster was Dr William Fiddian Moulton, a renowned Biblical Scholar and church leader. The Leysian Mission, Old Street

The Mission was started in 1886 by former pupils of the Leys School who were concerned about the social and housing conditions in the East End of London. Its first premises were in nearby Whitecross Street but in 1902 the Mission moved into grand purpose-built premises in Old Street (just round the corner from Wesley’s Chapel). It had vibrant evangelical and social ministries and encouraged alumni from the Cambridge school to give time to programmes that reached out to the poor; It touched the lives of thousands of people. In the early days, there was a Medical Mission, a “poor man’s lawyer”, a relief committee, feeding programmes, meetings for men and women, and a range of services and musical activities.

Royalty patronised the Mission’s great events and the school in Cambridge maintained strong links. However, the ravages of World War II and the advent of the post-war Welfare State saw a change in circumstance that led, eventually, to disposing of the buildings and the successful merger with Wesley’s Chapel in 1989.

Links with the Leys School continue to be very strong. A Wesley scholarship offers a number of children from the city the opportunity to attend as boarders at the Leys School in Cambridge. An annual Cricket Match, regular visits (in both directions) and special events ensure that the Leysian Mission continues to flourish in its new setting.



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49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU
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