The Methodist Church Tower Hamlets
Our setting - Tower Hamlets
Tower Hamlets Methodist Circuit is a local circuit within the London District, which is itself part of the whole Methodist Church in Great Britain, and worldwide. Local Methodists celebrate identity as Londoners as well as Christians. Local and city-wide contexts shape mission, spirituality and ways of working. For information about Methodist heritage, programmes, training, theology and much more, visit the Methodist Church website
LBTH Ward map:
The Methodist Circuit is co-terminus with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and is immediately east of the City bordered by the Boroughs of Hackney to the north, Newham to the east and the River Thames to the south.
LBTH Borough Postcode Map:
The historic images of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London now share
their place on the skyline with the towers of Canary Wharf.
This is inner urban London and an area of considerable history – from the 11th century Tower of London to the 21st century Docklands development; from the Victorian Whitechapel of Jack the Ripper to the 2012 Olympics and their ongoing legacy.
Along the way a succession of immigrant communities from Huguenots, Jews and Caribbeans to Bangladeshis, Africans and Eastern Europeans has been welcomed in. This is a city of constant change and one of the most exciting and challenging places to live in the UK.
The 2021 census showed that across England and Wales, 81.7% of residents were from white backgrounds (down from 86% in 2011) and 74.4% were white British.
London is the most ethnically diverse area of the country. Across London there has been an 8.1% decrease in people from white backgrounds, down from 3.7m (44.9% of the total) in 2011 to 3.2m (36.8%) in 2021.
In the 2021 Census for England and
Wales, over half identified with a religion. Although numbers have
declined since the 2011 Census, the largest religion was still
Christianity with 27.5 millionpeople (46.2% of the population). Muslims
were the next largest religious group with 3.9 million people (6.5% of
Photo credit: Alan Stanton/Flick
Of the other main religious groups: 1 million people identified as Hindu (1.7% of the population), 524,000 people identified as Sikh (0.9%), 271,000 people as Jewish (0.5%) and 273,000 people as Buddhist (0.5%). 348,000 people (0.6%) identified with religions which did not fall into any of the main religious categories. These included Pagan, Alevi, Jain and Zoroastrian, among others. 22.2 million people in England and Wales said they had no religion, which is just over a third of the population – an increase of 12 percentage points (8.1 million people) since the 2011 Census. Many of the changes in data from the 2011 Census reflect changing patterns of ageing, fertility, mortality and migration. The results may also demonstrate changes in the way people responded to the Census question, potentially reflecting a shift from identifying as Christian in the church-going sense, to identifying as agnostic or atheist, while still retaining some Christian norms and traditions.
According to current figures from the ONC, the population of Tower Hamlets is diverse:
34.6% Bangladeshi, 22.9% White British, 14.6% White (other) 5% Black African (double the proportion of England and Wales as a whole) 3.3% Chinese (third highest behind City of London and Cambridge)
2% Somali or Somalilander.
73.5% claimed a UK national identity.
43% of the local population were born outside the UK.
26.5% stated non-UK national identity.
39.9% are Muslim (the highest rate of any local authority),
22.3% Christian (down from 30%)
smaller groups from the Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, and Sikh communities,
26.6% (21% in 2011) stating no faith.
With a population of 296,300 in 2016 - which is expected to rise to
374,000 by 2026 - in a borough of 8
square miles, the poor and rich live cheek by jowl . In the Referendum, the borough voted to remain in the EU (68% for, 32% against). Tower Hamlets has a dense-built environment, with multi-million pound new apartments alongside
its Victorian terraces and remaining 1960s tower blocks. It is a very busy place,
alive 24/7. So as well as millionaires and a sprinkling of the
'famous' there are also some of the most deprived people and families in
the UK. Increasing gentrification means that often only the very poor and very
rich can afford to live here, alongside those in key worker or tied
There are excellent transport links to regenerated Stratford, to Docklands, the City of London (10 mins away) and the City of Westminster in the West End. Despite constant change, the area retains the character and vibrancy of the old East End. All the wonders of
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