Faith was at the heart of both missions and settlements. Church and ministry remain at the core of the Pembroke House.
But those establishing settlements were, by definition, foreigners to the community. By most accounts this generated humility. The settlers did not come with an agenda. They listened and learned. This tended to result in clubs, associations and committees.
In the last decade, two other types of activity have emerged. As public systems began to recognise how much need is met by and within civil society, a number of what might be called relational interventions emerged, attempts to connect people facing challenges in life with community activities.
And, in keeping with the jargon of innovation, funders began to invest in efforts to disrupt traditional patterns of civil society organisation, including their relationships with public systems.
The settlement house was the traditional focus of activity. In the last decade, the work has spread into other parts of the Walworth Triangle. In 2019, the Walworth Living Room, a second experimental space was established in an old church hall. There has been relatively little work outside of these two spaces, other than to encourage the participation of local residents.
At the beginning of the collaboration, a rough audit revealed the following list of settlement activities, some provided by Pembroke House, some provided by other agencies.
Baby Pembroke Academy of Music (for parents and babies 0-4 years old)
Bags of Taste
Ballet (beginners and professional)
Church Men’s Group
(Computer) Coding Club
Dance-theatre for physical and mental wellbeing
Drawing Club (Royal Drawing School)
dt17 (dance and mental health)
English for Action ESOL classes
Junior Pembroke Academy of Music (4-7-year-olds)
Mass on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday
Pembroke Academy of Music (PAM)
Renaissance Italian Fencing
South London and Maudsley NHS Trust community partnership
Southwark Wellbeing Hub drop-in pop-up
Tatum Street Party
TTS Rolling Workshops