Methodist Chaplaincy House (MCH) has been a community for about 25 higher-education students for over 40 years. The community is international and its members study at different colleges and universities across London.
While MCH is rooted in a Christian ethos, we welcome full-time students of any and no faith who subscribe to the principles and practice of MCH. These have always been:
- To create and sustain community among a diverse international body of students;
- To enable residents to extend their sense of community through service in the Kings Cross and Hinde Street churches of the West London Mission, and in the Mission’s projects to support vulnerable and marginalised people;
- To encourage members to explore their spirituality, whatever their background faith (or none); and
- To provide affordable accommodation for students on a non-profit making basis.
So MCH is not typical student accommodation, but rather a place where students gain valuable experience as members of a diverse community with responsibility to and for each other, learning to live together with all their differences and similarities. Residents have described MCH as “a family”, somewhere they “feel safe” and where it “feels like home”. They are each part of creating this sense of belonging and share in the responsibilities of running the House. The House is overseen and supported by a resident Warden, assisted by one or two community interns.
Building the community within the House is largely an informal process with students sharing their lives and supporting each other and enthusiastically engaging with each other. More formally, every month there is a house meal which all students are expected to attend. At this meal decisions are taken, grievances aired, issues discussed and new ideas proposed. It is the main forum for the House. There are further discussion and prayer groups as well as social and other recreational activities.
Students at MCH are also strongly encouraged to engage with the wider community, including the church congregations and ISTV (International Service TeleVision) at Kings Cross, and the projects within the West London Mission that support homeless and isolated people, such as Wednesday Club, Friday Club, Chicken Chow Mein, Cold Weather Shelter and, the West London Day Centre.