The world leader of the Salvation Army will visit East London this weekend (Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Salvation Army in Poplar.
General André Cox, who leads the global church and charity, will spend the weekend with the local community in Poplar to mark its work in the area over the last 150 years.
The Salvation Army in Poplar is often called the ‘No. 1 Corps’ (churches are referred to as ‘corps’ within The Salvation Army) because it is the oldest surviving established church for the organisation, which began its work on the streets of East London in 1865.
To recognise this significant milestone and to meet those connected with The Salvation Army in the area, General Cox and his wife Commissioner Silvia Cox will spend time at the weekend seeing first-hand the work being done to support those in the Poplar community today.
David Brown (Major) church leader at The Salvation Army in Poplar said: “We are excited to welcome the General as we celebrate with the local community our 150th anniversary in Poplar, the first Salvation Army Corps in the world to reach that milestone.
“The Salvation Army is committed to being at the heart of communities and supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society. In Poplar we run a number of programmes to meet the needs of people in this community who need us the most. The General’s presence and vision for 2017 will be an inspiration to everyone involved with The Salvation Army here.”
The General’s visit begins on Saturday afternoon when he will join a fun day for all ages and attend a tambourine workshop by Timbreltastic at The Salvation Army. Afterwards, General Cox will join a lively procession leaving at 5.15pm walking the short distance to Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church accompanied by music and singing from a combined Salvation Army Band and singers from the W1 Community Gospel Choir.
During the afternoon the General and Commissioner Cox will be shown an exhibition about the 150-year-old history of The Salvation Army in Poplar on display in the Queen Victoria Seaman's Rest, which is also open to the public from 11am – 1pm on Saturday.
At 6pm the General will take part in a celebratory evening event entitled ‘From Music Hall to Lighthouse’ with a variety of music provided by the combined Salvation Army Band, WI Community Choir and Timbreltasitc under the leadership of Alexander Campbell and Lotto Jones in which congregation participation is encouraged. Commissioner Silvia Cox will speak during the evening.
Following the celebrations on Saturday, the General and Commissioner Cox will attend Sunday Worship at Poplar Salvation Army where the General will preach before all present and will join together for an international buffet lunch.
Over the weekend, General Cox will share his new initiative for 2017, The Whole World Mobilising, which aims to encourage and equip people across the world to spread the good news of the gospel, to reach out in practical ways, to minister to the needs of communities and to daily put faith in action.
The Salvation Army’s community churches and social centres across the UK and Ireland help vulnerable and disadvantaged people by running a range of initiatives, including drug and alcohol drop-ins, emergency food provisions, befriending services and children’s ministry.
Saturday 18th March –media welcome
· 11am – 1pm –Exhibition open to the public at Queen Victoria Seaman's Rest, 121-131 East India Dock Road, E14 6DF
· 3pm – Family Fun for all ages, including Tambourine Workshop at The Salvation Army Hall in Poplar, Kerby Street E14 6AJ
· 4pm – afternoon tea at The Salvation Army Hall in Poplar, Kerby Street E14 6AJ
· 5.30pm – parade from The Salvation Army, Kerby Street E14 6AJ to Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church (Trinity Hall), 119 East India Dock Road, E14 6DE
· 6pm – ‘From Music Hall to Lighthouse’celebration at Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church (Trinity Hall) 119 East India Dock Road, E14 6DE
· 8pm – refreshments at Queen Victoria Seaman’s Rest 121-131 East India Dock Road, E14 6DF
Sunday 19th March –no media photography
· 11.15am – Worship at The Salvation Army Hall in Poplar, Kerby Street E14 6AJ
· 1pm – bring and share international buffet at The Salvation Army Hall in Poplar, Kerby Street E14 6AJ
History of The Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland, and in Poplar
The Salvation Army was born on the streets of London’s East End on 2nd July 1865 when William Booth commenced his first open air Evangelistic campaign in Whitechapel, preaching in a tent. In 1869 The Christian Mission received its name with Booth as its leader. An early indicator of his social concern was his establishment that year of a 'Food-for-the-Millions' program which provided cheap meals for the poor. The Christian Mission was renamed The Salvation Army in 1878 and, as military terminology became more commonplace, Booth became known as the 'General'.
The Salvation Army began working in Poplar in 1867. Today, The Salvation Army's Poplar Corps (Church) and Community Centre is based in Kerbey Street and is run by Majors David and Meshiel Brown. Its programmes include community outreach and advice, a food bank, youth groups and a parent and toddler group. Staff and volunteers also run a charity shop and a café.
About the General
General AndréCox was born on 12th July 1954. He has been married to his wife, Commissioner Silvia Cox for 38 years. He was commissioned a Salvation Army officer on 25th May 1979. His first appointment as a Salvation Army officer was in the Switzerland and Austria territory; since then his officership has taken him to Zimbabwe, Finland and Estonia, Southern Africa, and the UK. He was appointed as Chief of the Staff in February 2013 before being elected General a few months later in August 2013.
In January 2017 General Cox launched a new initiative, The Whole World Mobilising, which aims to encourage and equip people across the world to spread the good news of the gospel, to reach out in practical ways, to minister to the needs of our communities and to daily put our faith in action. Visit https://mobilising.salvationarmy.org to find practical tips, inspirational testimonies and regular challenges for The Salvation Army to remain an active force for good and for change.