about this time Birdhurst Lodge, South Croydon was acquired.
1922 the Mission was running Birdhurst Lodge as its
headquarters and children’s receiving home and
six other children’s homes (Hurst House, Deepdene,
Essendene and Deanfield, South Croydon and Lillian
Baker Home and Tower House, Anerley) and three maternity
homes (Hope House, Rokeby and The Moorings.)
the work of the Mission became centred in and around
Birdhurst Lodge and South Croydon many of
the other properties were disposed of. Rokeby was the only
non-Croydon property to be retained and this acted as the
Mission’s maternity hospital until 1931. It was then,
during a period of financial difficulty sold and the maternity
hospital function was transferred to Birdhurst Lodge.
retired as a Co-Director in 1924 and died in 1927. Mrs.
Ransome Wallis died less than a year later
in 1928. Adeline Wallis (1896 – 1962) their daughter
who had worked for the Mission since 1913, and had been
Assistant Director for some years, then took over as Director.
In 1934 the
Mission was reconstituted as a ‘Faith
Mission’ which meant that the staff pledged to trust
in God for all their financial needs and provision. It
was at this time that antique furniture and an Adam fireplace
from Birdhurst Lodge were sold to raise money.
died in 1962 and was succeeded as Director by Joyce Muddiman.
In the late 1960’s the decision
was taken to dispose of the Hurst Road houses and demolish
Birdhurst Lodge. The new Deepdene (now the Birdhurst Nursery
building) was built in 1968 and opened in 1970 as children’s
home. The new Hurst House (now Wallis House, 42 South Park
Hill Road) was built in 1969 as a home for older children.
Two mother and baby homes, Beracah (17 Birdhurst Avenue)
and Birdhurst (14 South Park Hill Road were also built
in 1968. Much of Birdhurst Lodge was demolished at about
this time; the part which was retained was used for administration
and became known as Old Birdhurst.
Children’s Aid and Adoption Society,
a separate organisation, was founded in 1920 by Dr. F.
B.Meyer. He was a Baptist Minister and well known as a
preacher and writer and was Chairman of the Mission of
Hope until a conflict of views led him to establish his
own adoption agency. The Society also ran a children’s
home at Hutchinson House, Leytonstone (which was taken
over by the local authority in the late 1940’s).
The organisation’s full name was the Homeless Children’s
Aid and Adoption Society and F.B. Meyer’s Children
Owing to their
shared history the Mission of Hope and the Homeless Children’s Aid and Adoption Society
and F.B. Meyer’s Children Home always maintained
close contact and on 8 April 1980 the two societies were
amalgamated as the Mission of Hope for Children’s
Aid and Adoption. In 1989 it was felt that a less cumbersome
title was needed and the name was changed to Christian
During the 1980’s the Society continued to run an
adoption agency, children’s homes and mother and
baby support services.
The last children’s home was closed in 1989 and the
adoption agency closed in 1992. The adoption records were
transferred to the care of Croydon Social Services. Their
Fostering & Adoption
Croydon Social Services
69 -77 Robert Stree,t
So in 1893 began a long Christian ministry of caring for
needy children and their parents through the provision
of maternity hospitals, children’s homes and adoption
and fostering services,. From the start the charity was
non-denominational supported by Christians from a variety
of church backgrounds.
Over the years Christian Family Concern has adapted its
ministry to the changes in society and today the emphasis
of our work is on working to keep families together.
It continues to work with families in a spirit of strong
Christian commitment and is committed to the evangelical
witness of its founders. With an enthusiastic team of Christian
staff we run:
- Birdhurst Nursery
House Bed-sit Scheme