In the late 1800s, The Children’s Society grew out of the ministry of Christians like Edward Rudolf.

A boy stands at the top of some stairs

While working in some of England's poorest neighbourhoods, Rudolf was inspired – as we are – by the practice of Jesus Christ, who taught that children and the poor are at the heart of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18.1-3, Luke 6.20).

Christ teaches us that when we offer hospitality and care to children and those who lack food or shelter, we are welcoming and caring for him (Matthew 18.5, 25.34–40). He tells us that we can only enter the Kingdom of God when we ‘become like children’ (Matthew 18.1-3, Luke 6.20). His ministry shows that love must be combined with courage, and a willingness to confront injustice.  In his words and in his actions, he proclaims hard truths which disturb the powerful and the comfortable (see Jesus' cleansing of the Temple in Mark 11, Matthew 21, Luke 19-20 and John 2).

That is why we have a vision of a country where children are free from disadvantage, and why our mission involves a willingness to tell hard truths as we fight for change, supporting disadvantaged children to have better lives.  

It is because our organisation has grown out of the Church’s ministry with and for the poorest, and our action has such deep roots in the Gospels, that our charity continues to draw so much of its support from churches and individuals who are committed to serving society.

We are also supported by a growing number of people of other faiths and none who share our vision, and are committed to our mission.

Over the last year, we have engaged in a process of listening to children and to our Church partners. This process has led us to state our four core values as being brave, supportive, trusted and ambitious.

Find more information about the listening and reflection that led to these values and materials for reflection on them.

More information

The Heart of the Kingdom is a collection of essays that explore the theology and experience underlying our work.

We have a wide range of materials online for prayer, worship and reflection.

Find out more about our partnership with the Church.