Embassy of Amazing Grace
Lombard Street has long been known as the banking street of London and for centuries hosted the headquarters of many historic banking institutions. This strategic position at the intersection of trade has given St Mary Woolnoth and St Edmund the King, the churches in Lombard Street, a platform to speak of values, practices that are both above markets but also very much inherent to markets that brings fairness and flourishing to people. These universal laws of business, as the fund manager Sir John Templeton called them, are founded on God’s principles in the Holy Bible and much of the development of the City of London is founded on those principles. For example, the motto of the City, ‘my word is my bond’, was originally a Quaker teaching about trust and faithfulness that reflects God’s covenant faithfulness. The Corporation of London adopted the saying when they observed how people of Christian faith such as the Quakers were the ones trusted to prepare contracts and execute deals fairly. Churches in the Square Mile were the places that kept teaching these principles from God and encouraging business through chaplaincy, preaching and countless meetings to keep the values of God central to the values of the City.
Over the years there have been times when the willingness of churches to challenge the City has been muted and they have gone with the flow rather than stepping up as a voice at the intersection of trade and finance. One of those failures was speaking up on the slave trade which was allowed to go unchallenged by many for centuries. But that all changed in the late 18th century and Lombard Street played several key roles in bringing the trade to an end in Britain. Two Lombard Street locations stand out: George Yard and St Mary Woolnoth. Read more here.