I was asked by Josh Spero, one of its Trustees, to visit Oxford House, a community-oriented settlement just off the Bethnal Green Road. It’s one of that generation of high-minded, Anglican, late Victorian settlements, which were established by Oxford and Cambridge colleges (in the case of Oxford House, Keble College, Oxford) to bring ‘sweetness and light’ and a dose of high Anglicanism to the poor of East London (‘come and be the squires of East London’ was the slightly unfortunate way of finding recruits). The building was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield in the heavy, late Victorian, institutional gothic he had perfected at Selwyn College, Cambridge. In the Second World War, it was run by Guy Clutton-Brock, later one of the founders of the ANC, and turned into more of a local community resource which it has remained ever since, now rundown, but due to be revived by an HLF project.
This is the chapel at the top, currently little used, with an altarpiece dated 1914:-
The arms and Victorian brickwork:-