A Brief History of the Salvation Army

and Wimbledon Corps


In 1865 William Booth, a former Methodist minister recognised the need for a practical Christian ministry in the East End of London. His compelling message won converts who were to become his first members in the newly established East London Christian Mission. By 1878, the Mission had grown considerably, expanded outside of London, William Booth its General Secretary had become its General and the change of name to the Salvation Army had occurred. In subsequent years the uniform came into use, as did flags, brass bands and the practice of marching the streets. By 1912, the year in which William Booth died, the Salvation Army had developed its work in 54 countries and had established itself as both an evangelistic force to be reckoned with, as well as becoming a major Social Service provider to the poor and needy.

Over the past eighty years the Salvation Army has continued with these twin themes of Evangelism and Social care, and prides itself in always seeking to have a message that is contemporary and relevant for mankind's needs.


Looking beyond Wimbledon Corps To The UK & Overseas

- Homes - Hostels - Emergency Services - Soup Runs - Charity Shops - Clothing Clothes -

Many people have fond memories of the Salvation Army for its services to the military, its work with the homeless and its ready response to major emergencies such as the Moorgate train crash, the Lockerbie explosion and the Zeebrugge disaster. These are but a part of the many expressions of service that the Salvation Army undertakes. Now operating in well over 100 countries throughout the world, some other expressions of service are


Aid Care Support

Leprosy Centres

Alcohol / Drug Addiction Centres

Maternity Homes

Children's Homes

Night Patrols

Counselling Services

Occupational Centres

Day Centres for Elderly

Prison Visitation

Day Nurseries & Crèches

Sheltered Housing

Family Tracing Depts.

Teacher Training

Harbour Light Centres for Alcoholics


Homes for the Elderly

Training Workshops & Farms

Hospitals & Clinics

Hostels for Men & Women

plus many, many more!!!

"Where there is a need, there is the Salvation Army" certainly still holds true

Wimbledon Corps

At Wimbledon, the Salvation Army commenced its work and mission in 1886. After a short period in locally rented property it moved to the present 109 Kingston Road building. Much change has taken place over past years, leaving us with our well designed blend of old and new.

Wimbledon Corps seeks to build upon the cherished heritage of the past 100 years and hopes through its varied ministries to continue in its witness and service to the local community.

For a more detailed history visit the Corps History Page.

The Doctrines of The Salvation Army

  1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.
  2. We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.
  3. We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead-the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
  4. We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.
  5. We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.
  6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.
  7. We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to salvation.
  8. We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
  9. We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
  10. We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  11. We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked


The following books are recommended for further study of the Doctrines:

Handbook of Doctrine - c/o SP & S Ltd.

This We Believe by John Coutts - c/o SP & S Ltd.

In Understanding Be Men (A handbook of Christian Doctrine) - by Hammond & Wright (IVP Pub.)


An informal explanation and introduction to the faith of a Salvationist can be arranged upon request to the Commanding Officers.

Guidance concerning Membership

Adherency - Senior Soldiers - Junior Soldiership


Having attended services at the Salvation Army for a number of weeks or months, often new attenders wish to recognise that the Salvation Army is their church. There is a provision made for regular attenders to become Adherent member of the Salvation Army. Adherents are often long standing members of Corps, with an active faith and commitment to service. Many however, from experience, enjoy adherency as a "settling in' or developmental period and move on to Senior Soldiership after one or two years,


For Senior soldiership and to wear the uniform of the Salvation Army, the requirements are more exacting. He or she, must be over the age of 14, have witnessed to a conversion experience of Jesus as their Saviour, and to subscribe to certain standards of faith and Christian practice. Enrolment under the S.A. Flag follows on after a period of study (Christian Faith, Doctrine & Salvationist standards) and is recognised by the public signing of a Soldiers "Articles of War'.


Junior Soldiers (from 7+) are accepted into the Salvation Army following a process similar to Senior Soldiership, although it is modified according to a young persons age or understanding. Here, the young boy or girl has professed an understanding of conversion which is in keeping with their level of understanding and they have signed a Junior Soldiers Promise or Pledge Card. Some of these children may previously have been dedicated in prayer to God as a baby and will have progressed up through the Primary Classes. Others however will have come because of their own interest and quest for a relevant Christian faith.


Weekly or Monthly Financial Offerings

During Sunday Worship Services an opportunity is always given for a Financial Offering to support the ongoing expenses of the Corps. Both cash or cheques are accepted as "open plate" or "sealed envelope" (Cartridge) offerings. The latter is the customary form of weekly or monthly giving by many members of the Corps.

Where desired, monthly Banker's Orders & tax deductible Deeds of Covenants are accepted. See the Corps Treasurer or the Commanding Officer for details

Pledged Giving Programme

In 1993, Wimbledon became one of the first Salvation Army Corps to introduce a programme of pledged or planned financial giving. This dramatically increased the financial income to the Corps and has enabled the development of various programmes and property improvements to be undertaken.

In 1996, with the conclusion of the first three year scheme, the Corps embarked on a further three year commitment. Many uniformed and non-uniformed members have subscribed to this financial covenant and participate through weekly or monthly financial offerings. As a new attender, should you wish to understand more about this "Tithe based" form of offering, either the Corps Treasurer or the Commanding Officer will be pleased to explain it to you.


Family Tracing

Request for Applications Forms. can be made to Commanding Office or by telephoning directly the Salvation Army's Family Tracing Dept. Local enquiries are only made by the Commanding Officer at the instigation of the above Dept.

Further Information & Application Forms - 020 7383 2772


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