The history of the church on the south bank is almost as old as the history of London itself. From the earliest Saxon times to the burning of Southwark by William the Conqueror and the carving up of south London by the railways, the church has consistently and actively offered hospitality, cohesion and service to local communities in south London.

For longer than any other organisation along the riverside the churches of Southwark have enabled and sustained strong and supportive communities through

• creating opportunities to connect people of all races, creeds and cultures
• offering safe places for open communication and conversation
• and acting as catalysts for social, cultural and spiritual wellbeing in times of change

These tasks have never been more needed than they are today as the southern riverside reinvents itself again. In the stories above we have shown how churches in Southwark are making a difference in today’s regeneration of the south bank.

We describe The Bridge, a project at St John’s Waterloo to help young people gain the skills needed to fi nd employment. This project is made sustainable by creating a world class cultural venue in the church building to serve the south bank arts community.

In Greenwich we point to the long term work to improve educational standards for all ages and to serve people of all faiths through a multi faith workplace chaplaincy.

Other projects to serve emerging communities are highlighted, such as creating space for reflection and mindfulness in busy working lives, creating new community hubs and serving communities where English is not the first language.

These projects are examples of our commitment of resources and skills to the creation of a good city, one that works together for the wellbeing of its inhabitants in body, mind and spirit, a city which is successful economically, socially and creatively.

To facilitate these tasks of creating connections, enabling good communication and becoming a successful catalyst for change, the Diocese of Southwark is creating a number of opportunities for a wider conversation on what makes a good city. The fi rst is a symposium on London’s Creative and Flourishing Waterfront at Lambeth Palace in February 2016. This will be followed by a garden party in the Autumn of 2016 at Lambeth Palace to continue the conversation.

These events are focused on bringing together influencers and stakeholders to consider how best to work together for the good of south London communities. We hope that these events, and more to follow, will create an environment for sharing ideas, creating new partnerships and releasing resources for the wider benefit of south London.

We invite you to share with us in our pursuit of the flourishing city through partnership and conversation. The Archdeacons listed on the Contact page are your key contacts and will be happy to hear from you.