Our history in the UK
Medical Mission Sisters are based in West London but respond in diverse ways to the needs of disadvantaged members of society across the city.
Younger MMS are involved in medical work or accompanying needy individuals or/and groups, such as the homeless, refugees or migrants, victims of trafficking, as well as people in need of support and accompaniment during times of crisis. Senior sisters, looking back over decades of missionary service overseas, have been volunteering in local foodbanks, parish drop-in centres and a hospice.
Focus of our Mission in the UK
Engaging in Social Work
- Professional healthcare at the Accident and Emergency department of a Central London hospital, with a special focus on homeless people and those suffering from substance abuse or experiencing mental health problems; and
- Providing complementary treatments and accompaniment for victims of trafficking.
Engagement in social work
In particular, we are:
- Coordinating a local shelter for homeless people, street-work and supportive services sponsored by an inter-faith initiative;
- Accompanying people through times of personal crisis;
- Visiting and supporting refugees in detention;
- Offering voluntary service in local foodbanks, drop-in-centres and a hospice; and
- Participating in networks and advocacy for a more just Society, for peace and the preservation of life on the planet.
Sharing a memory
Sister Gill Horsfield remembers the days when she was serving in Kenya's worst slum. Korokocho slum, located next to the city rubbish dump, was a place from hell but, she recalls that it was also a place where God's Kingdom came alive.
In those days, everyone was scared to go near any patient with HIV/AIDS, including many single mothers with children, but a large group of local health workers said, "We are Christians, we will care for them." They did this through cooking and distributing food, looking after the children and visiting households affected by the virus. The generosity was overwhelming - with many donations received from local businesses. Indeed was a true 'miracle of human kindness' recalls Sister Gill. She particularly values how much local health workers contributed to MMS' mission among the poor.
The influence of Pauline Willis on Anna Dengel
Anna Dengel left Rawalpindi in 1924, returning to London. A few months later, accompanied by Miss Pauline Willis, an American residing in England and a member of the London Committee, raising funds for the hospital in Rawalpindi, Anna set off for America to raise funds and "make the cause known".
Before leaving, Anna was given a piece of advice: "Take two bags with you, a very big one for all the disappointments and heartaches and a little one for the nice things!"
The UK MMS community and their visitors enjoy visiting Pauline Willis' cottage in Winchcombe in the Cotswolds where Anna once stayed with her.