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Mission to Streets and Lanes

Founded in 1885 by Bishop Moorhouse (1826-1915), this was the Anglican Church's first diocesan foray into inner-city mission work. With Sister Esther (Emma Silcock, 1858-1931) as Sister-in-Charge, and Canon Handfield (1828-1900), vicar 479 of St Peter's, Eastern Hill, as warden, the Mission was Anglo-Catholic rather than evangelical in tone, its sisters forming the Community of the Holy Name in 1912.

Differences in churchmanship were not reflected in the services offered at the Little Lonsdale Street and Spring Street mission houses. In addition to relief and recreational activities, the Mission operated a Female Rescue Home at Cheltenham (1892-1946), children's homes at Brighton (1894-) and Darling (1927-67), two inner-city schools (1907-24), private hospitals at Kew (St George's, 1912-49) and East Melbourne (St Ives, 1917-22) and a home for the aged (Ellerslie, 1950-81).

Struggling against rising costs, the Mission moved alongside the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Fitzroy in 1952. Increasingly dependent on government rather than church funding, it came under secular management in 1969 and, like the Mission of St James and St John and St John's Homes, moved from institutional to professionally staffed community-based programs. In 1997 these Anglican organisations were amalgamated as Anglicare, the family welfare service of the Diocese of Melbourne.

Shurlee Swain