Our arrival on a most beautiful autumn morning was greeted by His Grace the Archbishop with generous welcome and assurances that although the entrance had some resemblance to Wormwood Scrubs it was a palace and certainly once inside the impressive courtyard there was no possible risk of confusion.
The occasion was the launch of the Lambeth Giving Fund that the Archbishop had kindly agreed to host; lending considerable weight to what was a huge step forward in our relationship with charitable donations and a fitting tribute to the cross-party working of elected members and the logistical diligence of development manager Grace Gbadamosi. Using an original idea the fund is designed to reach those smaller parts of charitable giving that are sometimes off the radar for the larger fund raisers, through an alternative means of giving as integral to our local culture as is our immediate response to a national appeal.
With our charitable organisations fully represented it was an initiative of altruistic enterprise, involving six local charities including horses from the Ebony Horse Club for whom meeting the Archbishop was another opportunity for attention although from a much higher sphere of ecclesiastical influence. The Lambeth Giving Fund will allow these charities to benefit from an experience uniquely personal to Lambeth with donations reaching the most marginalised in a way that makes a significant difference to their community and our borough a better place for the experience, with donors given the reassurance that their generosity will be felt much closer to where the heart is south of the river in a London Borough that was once home to Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury.