Hereford City Mission was one of many initiatives that John Venn, vicar of St. Peter’s, undertook with his sister Emelia. Together their initiatives transformed the plight of Hereford’s struggling families in 19th century Hereford and their legacy of iconic buildings shapes the city today.
To feed the poor, the Venns built a Corn Mill, opened a soup kitchen and acquired garden allotments to allow people to grow their own food.
To encourage well-being, the Venns opened a sick person’s dispensary and public baths. He built a model farm, pioneered building houses with gardens and invested a great deal of energy in developing earth toilets to improve sanitation.
In addition, they built a school and large children’s home. They encouraged the development of Hereford’s public library and encouraged the YMCA to open in The City.
The impact that John and Emelia Venn made was remarkable – truly miraculous.
For nearly fifty years they shared ardour and manifold endeavours to serve the people of Hereford.
They were steadfast in faith. Joyful through hope. Rooted in charity
The Venns established Hereford City Mission in 1856 to employ individuals to visit struggling families in their homes to support them and encourage their well-being. In 2013 Hereford City Mission was born again as Vennture to address the impact of the ebbing tide of public funding on local people. Our challenge is to be modern day stewards of the vision the Venn’s held of the transforming power of Jesus Love.
Today, Hereford City Mission is renamed Vennture and remains a Christian cross-church initiative true to John and Emelia’s original vision of loving those who are marginalised or vulnerable. Our work relies on an army of rigorous trained volunteers, incredibly diverse (from retirees to students) but all who share a passion to make a difference by ‘Loving people better.’
The charity’s focus is on substantive, sustainable programmes that make a tangible difference for people facing significant challenges. All our people are united by a set of shared values and desire to share the Power of Jesus’ love in the public space.
Our mission is to ‘Love People Better’. Put simply we want to equip people to help people. In all our programmes we develop in people three things: the awareness to come alongside others; the presence to travel with them through thick and thin and a sense of ownership that allows them to stick with people whatever happens.
The charity’s focus is on significant, substantive, sustainable programmes that make a tangible difference for people facing significant challenges. We have a significant and growing pipeline of initiatives supported by people from a whole range of backgrounds who we recruit carefully and train rigorously to be outcome focused. All our people are united by a set of shared values.
Like John and Emelia Venn we want to show The Power of Jesus Love by living out the values that they both held as precious.