On May 14th 2019, the trustees of the historic ‘Park Street Mission’ in Gloucester, made substantial donations to two of the three local organisations chosen as beneficiaries. The money came from the sale of the historic building in Park Street, Gloucester, following closure of the Park Street Mission. The building has been a place of worship for over 340 years, with Edith Sessions, a Quaker and the first woman magistrate in Gloucester, setting up the ‘Park Street Mission’ there in 1880.
The money has been donated to Stroud Women’s Refuge and The Family Haven, and a presentation will shortly be made to The Nelson Trust. This is in accordance with the original Trust Deeds which specifies that, if the Mission ever was to be closed and the building sold, the money should be used ‘as the trustees see fit’ or – preferably – be given to the ‘Home of Hope’ in Gloucester (also founded by Gloucester Quakers).
The Home of Hope was a refuge for unmarried mothers (mostly women in service who had been ’taken advantage of’) situated on part of the area now occupied by Gloucester Royal Hospital. Its site is now occupied by Hope House, part of the hospital, promoting sexual health and helping victims of sexual violence.
As The Home of Hope no longer exists, the trustees have honoured the original intention by selecting three local organisations who help ‘vulnerable and hurt women and their families’ to receive the proceeds of the sale. We feel sure that Edith Sessions would approve of their choice.