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Mildmay Hospital
Mildmay Hospital
World News

Mildmay Tube line named after Christian hospital shows 'grace of God'

by Donna Birrell

Staff at a London hospital which started as a Christian mission say they're thrilled a Tube line is being named after it.

Mildmay is giving its name to one of six Overground lines which are being rebranded to reflect people and places of historical and cultural significance.

The hospital in Shoreditch was founded by a vicar, William Pennefather in the 1860s to care for the poor.

It’s CEO Geoff Coleman told Premier Christian News:“We are deeply honoured that the Mildmay Line was chosen as one of the new London Overground names in recognition of the work of the dedicated doctors, nurses, and support staff at the Mildmay Hospital.

“From its humble origins in the 1860s - serving the poorest people of the East End - to its pivotal role during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 80s and 90s, Mildmay has evolved into an internationally renowned rehab centre, and our dedicated team continues to serve people from across London.

“More than just tracks and stations, the Mildmay Line symbolises a journey of acceptance, love, and belonging—a vibrant thread connecting our collective past, present, and future.”

He told Premier the naming will bring the hospital much-needed publicity:

“We’re a Christian charitable hospital which has been around since the 1860s. And we go through these periods of challenges, where we're sometimes fighting for funding and we’re going through one now. But in the background, this was happening.

“A couple of months ago, we were contacted by Transport for London to say the Mildmay line was to come into being and we were all shocked. The staff are all walking on air at the moment. At a time when we're trying to raise publicity and awareness to get additional funding and support from the NHS commissioners, it’s perfect timing. I think

you'd call it grace of God.”

The Mildmay line starts at Stratford and runs through Dalston and onto Clapham/Richmond.

Coleman added: “It doesn’t actually go right through the area where the hospital is now, the nearest station is Shoreditch High Street. It goes through the area where the

Mildmay idea began. So when the Pennefathers started this up they went to St. Jude’s church, and it goes through that area. So they've got it spot on, but it's not where we are right now. That’s fine, it’s not a problem. It's got the Mildmay name out there, which we're very happy about.”

The CEO said that the Christian ethos remains at the heart of the hospital:

“We are part of the NHS in terms of the contract we provide so they pay our bills. So we have to dance to their tune and play by their rules. But all the board are Christians and unlike most other hospitals in the country, we do have a Christian foundation. And we have rather a lot of Christian chaplains as well. Most hospitals will have one or two chaplains, we have eight.”

The other five names which were unveiled this week at a ceremony hosted by the Mayor

of London Sadiq Khan are : Liberty, Lioness, Suffragette, Windrush and Weaver (reflecting London’s textile heritage).

Coleman said it is an honour to be named among such iconic people and places: “It’s incredible, it really is a blessing. When you think of those other names, you instantly get it. And you can understand why many people across London will be saying loudly, ‘look it’s Mildmay’. They’re going to be looking it up and trying to find out about it, so it's absolutely wonderful.

“I think Rev Pennefather would have been overjoyed.”

Work on the rebranding is due to be completed by the end of the year.




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