29 October 1888
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Will you allow me, through your columns, to beg the Dowager Lady Kinnaird to reconsider her plans for the reformation of Whitechapel, and the general public to hold their hands until some consultation has been held with those who by living and working in the district know it thoroughly.
I ask this, because every single agency suggested for the amelioration of Whitechapel is already in existence.
The Church of England Scripture Readers' Society and the London City Mission have their agents visiting from house to house. The East End deaconesses and others are ministering to women. The East London Nursing Society supplies parish nurses to visit the sick. Parochial and other mission women are busily employed. Pure literature is being disseminated in various ways. The Girls' Friendly Society and many private individuals are interesting themselves in the girls.
One would suppose from Lady Kinnaird's letter that no Christian influence is being brought to bear upon the people.
I would, however, remind your readers that the Church is at work, and that not unsuccessfully, as can be easily proved. That Mr. George Holland representing "the unsectarians" has a large and powerful agency, and the more modern exponents of philanthropic effort are adequately represented by the Rev. S. Barnett and his coadjutors at Toynbee Hall.
It will, therefore, be seen that there is absolutely no need to start a new agency, and that religious people if nearly every possible shade of opinion have their representatives among us.
What then is needed? I reply, the strengthening of existing agencies, and the more active and sympathetic support of those who are devoting their best energies to making the lives of their poorer brethren happier and more hopeful.
I am your obedient servant,
Arthur J. Robinson
Rector of Whitechapel