Nine people from Croydon Salvation Army made the short journey to Whitechapel in the East End of London for a walking tour of sites linked to William Booth the Founder of The Salvation Army. Retired Salvation Army officer Sandy Morris led the group and shared information about the early days of the East London Christian Mission which after a number of years changed name to become The Salvation Army.
There were a number of sites of interest including the Blind Beggar Pub where the Christian Mission held meetings in the street and two statues of William Booth located on Mile End Waste which is now Mile End Road.
A recent addition in 2011 is a mural by Mychael Barratt showing people and buildings related to Mile End including George Bernard Shaw, Captain James Cook, Reggie and Ronnie Cray and of course William Booth.
Booth was attracted to this area because of the high level of poverty and the obvious need of the local people. He wanted to bring the message of Jesus to these people and welcomed everyone and anyone to his meetings which were initially held in a large tent, and then in a dancing hall and a local theatre all in the Mile End area of East London.
On Mile End Waste there stood a man and the Salvation Army grew from this place into a national and international organisation. I think all of us who attended the walk left with a sense of gratitude and admiration for the inspiration and determination of William Booth and his Christian friends to share God’s Love and make a difference.