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18 March 2013

Looking back, moving forward – new home for the Evangelical Alliance

Looking back, moving forward – new home for the Evangelical Alliance

After more than 30 years at its home in Whitefield House in Kennington, south-east London, the Evangelical Alliance is moving to brand new premises in the heart of the new King's Cross redevelopment.

In March 1981, the organisation moved from its former home at 19 Draycott Place in Chelsea intent on being based in a building that was a "visible expression of 'spiritual unity in action'", according to the Spring 1981 edition of idea magazine.

Whitefield House was so-called because George Whitefield, the noted 18th century evangelist used to preach in the open air in the gardens across Kennington Park Road.

At the time of the move, the Alliance was joined by the Evangelical Missionary Alliance office, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation, and the resources centre of the Decade of Evangelism. Two magazines published by Thirty Press in association with the Alliance – Crusade and Third Way– did not move with the Alliance from their Chelsea property and instead took up a new home at the Scripture Union headquarters in City Road.

Thanks to the generosity of its members, the Alliance was able to buy Whitefield House freehold in 1992, but in recent years it has become clear that Whitefield House is no longer fit for purpose.

"When our neighbours unexpectedly approached us asking if we would consider selling them Whitefield House, we knew this was an opportunity from God," said general director Steve Clifford.

"We spent a lot of time carefully and prayerfully searching for new premises and considering how we can best use them."

The Alliance leadership team were keen that the new premises be a contemporary and professional resource centre to serve the evangelical community across the UK.

Eventually, prayer and hard work led to the purchase of a new premises at Copenhagen Street in King's Cross – which is currently undergoing one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe.

Steve Clifford said: "Whitefield House has been our home for more than 30 years – and a hub for evangelicals in this nation. We have welcomed so many dignitaries, church leaders and friends from all over the world through these doors. It is from this place that we have prayed and worked hard for unity among evangelical Christians, to achieve social transformation of our nation by being a voice to the government and the media.

"Though the mission we have had since 1846 remains the same, we feel that God is calling us to something new and exciting, symbolised in our relocation. We are looking forward to so much more in our new building in the heart of bustling King's Cross and are expectant for God to do even greater things as we continue in our mission from a new base that reflects the relevant, 21st century organisation that we aim to be. We hope that you'll join us in this journey."

The Alliance will be based at the new premises from Monday, 25 March. Our new address will be: 176 Copenhagen Street, London, N1 0ST. Please update your records accordingly.