history
 

Our Story

In June 2009 an old friend of mine, Stephen Hunt, died. Stephen was for many years a member of Clementswood Baptist Church, Ilford (where I grew up) and more recently of Hope Baptist Chapel, Forest Gate. A keen reader, he had been gradually collecting Christian books throughout his life, and so there were 17 boxes of them by the time he died! It came as a surprise to find out that he had left them all to me. As a former Librarian, I love reading and have a large book collection of my own, so I didn't have space for all these extra ones. In any case, I felt that Stephen's bequest should be used to benefit others, not just hoarded away for myself. After much thought, I decided the best way to use this gift was to share it with other Christians in East London. So the "East London Christian Library" was born. Setting up the Library was a step of faith, as there was no funding to run it, and no guarantee anyone would use it!

 

However, God prospered the Library idea, in that Hope Chapel donated some shelving, and my church, Central Baptist Walthamstow, were happy to provide some space which was ideal for housing the initial collection of 1,000 books. By July 2010, donations from various people meant that the Library had over 2,000 books, so it expanded into another area of the church, and another 10 bookcases were added. The website was also established then. By May 2011, we had 3,000 books and by December 2011 had expanded into a third area of the church building. 

By January 2013, we had lent 679 books to 108 different people from 30 Churches, which is very encouraging. Our stock has grown to nearly 5,000 books, and our Library Team has 7 volunteers from various churches. We thank God for how He has used the Library so far, and look to him for the future!
Jim Moore, Librarian