As part of the London 2012 legacy, The Salvation Army and Essex County Council are working together to create permanent recreational facilities for the public at Hadleigh Farm, venue for the recent mountain-biking event. William Booth (founder of The Salvation Army) purchased the land in 1890 to provide vocational training for the poor of London, part of his legacy of pioneering social reform.
But 100 years after Booth’s death, domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, human trafficking and poverty are still rife.
Booth once wrote: “the sure and only way to remedy all the evils in the world is by bringing men to submit themselves to the government of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Booth knew the limits of his social improvement schemes. As long as ordinary men and women pursue self-interest, and big businesses seek profit without responsibility, our society will not change. God expects each of us to care for and work to improve the lives of those around us.
Booth’s legacy has helped shape our view of social care. The London 2012 legacy aims to improve the health and fitness of a generation. When we meet God in eternity he will ask us, “what legacy did you leave behind?” How will you answer?