The Salvation Army marked the 125 year milestone in a service of thanksgiving at Hadleigh Farm Tea Rooms in May this year. The Salvation Army’s Divisional Commander, Major Norman Ord, said: “Hadleigh holds a special place in the hearts of Salvationists all around the world. The evolution and professionalism of The Salvation Army’s services at Hadleigh Farm models our Christian mission to care for people, to respond to their needs and empower them to reach their potential.”
Supporting the local community then, and supporting the local community now
The purchase of Hadleigh Farm in 1891 implemented the social manifesto of William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army. Men experiencing homelessness and unemployment in the East End of London were given the opportunity to escape the deprivation of the capital and move to Hadleigh Farm where they could learn new skills, principally agriculture and brick making. The aim was to give these men and their families a hand-up out of poverty, rather than a hand-out, in the hope that they would find employment and stay out of the workhouse.
The estate supported itself, selling its produce to the Southend community and trading bricks with London. By the end of 1892 the site incorporated a working farm, three brick works, a hospital and a Salvation Army church, as well as a tramline and railway for transporting agricultural produce and bricks from the farm to the wharf in Hadleigh Ray.