The history of the London Mennonite Trust and how it developed in to the organisation it is today
In 1953 the Mennonite Board of Missions purchased Shepherds Hill, a student residence in London particularly for supporting overseas students. The London Mennonite Centre (LMC) was born.
During the 60’s and 70’s the London Mennonite Fellowship (LMF) began to emerge, a congregation explicitly in the Anabaptist tradition. A diverse and rich household saw many students come and go.
In 1981, after 28 years of student hospitality, the improved racial policies of universities and student finances meant the LMCs student ministry was no longer required.
By 1987, the LMF had outgrown Shepherds Hill and moved out to form the Wood Green Mennonite Church (WGMC). The LMC also started its own teaching programme named Cross-Currents.
The LMC started to sell books and the Metanoia Book Service was founded and a library established. Staff also became involved in the Christian peace movement.
During the 90’s, through wider links and relationships, the Anabaptist Network began. Bridge Builders, a church conflict resolution service, was also launched.
After a difficult period of meeting the financial costs of running the LMC, in 2010 the Shepherds Hill property was sold. The library was transferred to Bristol Baptist College and Bridge Builders became an independent organisation.
WGMC closed in 2013, ending a 60 year physical Mennonite presence in London. Meanwhile, the proceeds from the LMC were used by the trust to purchase a portfolio of properties.
By 2020, the trust had established steady investment income and reconfigured its operations. It merged with the Anabaptist Network Trust and the new entity became the Anabaptist Mennonite Network.
A detailed account of the history of the London Mennonite Centre can be found in an article written by Alan Kreider, The London Mennonite Centre’s First Fifty Years. This is archived on the Anabaptist Today journal site here (a login is required, but subscription to the journal is free).