About Us

The History of Lewisham Parochial and Almshouse Charities

The ancient parish of Lewisham dates back over 400 years, the boundary lines have shifted considerably throughout history. Lewisham was considered part of kent, until 1889 when the London Government Act was introduced. By 1900 Lewisham became the metropolitan borough of Lewisham as the population expanded rapidly with the introduction of railways. In 1965 the boundary lines shifted again to include the Metropolitan borough of Deptford, parts of the parish of Lee, the Camberwell Vestry, and parts of Downham and Sydenham to form the London Borough of Lewisham.

In October 1990, the Charity Commission approved a scheme to amalgamate 27 charities, many of which were established over 200 years ago, in to four new charities, maintaining the aim of all the charities to provide for housing, education, health and poor relief services within the ancient parish of Lewisham.  The four new charities are managed by the umbrella organisation, Lewisham Parochial Charities.

The Four Charities

Lewisham Parochial Charities currently administers two almshouses, one of which in partnership with the Lewisham Almshouse Charities of William Hatcliffe and Abraham Colfe.

The Lewisham Relief in Need Charity

An amendment to the scheme in 1990 enabled the Lewisham Relief in Need Charity to build an almshouse to provide housing for people over the age of 60.

The Lewisham Education Charity

The Lewisham Education Charity was created by 5 merged charities with the purpose of providing access to education to residents of the ancient Parish of Lewisham under the age of 25 who are in financial hardship.

Lewisham General trust

Lewisham General trust consists of two charities that provide small grants to other charitable organisations for the benefit of the residents of the ancient parish of Lewisham.

Lewisham Almshouse Charity of John Thackery

John Thackery was born in 1776 and was a wealthy resident of Lewisham. In 1840 Thackery built six almshouses for elderly women in located in Rushey Green, Catford. He died 11 years later in 1851. the buildings are still standing, on Felday Road, however due to their unsuitability and state of repair, the almshouses were sold in the 1990’s.