St Martin-in-the-Fields is a landmark (C of E) church at the heart of London and is well known for its welcoming atmosphere, award-winning Café, popular classical and jazz concerts and historic James Gibbs architecture. It aims to be the "Church of the Ever Open Door” and has at its heart a practical and hospitable Christianity that seeks to "comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable". It is these principles that led the Church to its social care work which continues through the Connection at St Martins.
St Martin's holds regular church services in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and offers social care services to London 's Chinese community and homeless people.
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The cross at Charing Cross Station (which is a replica) was the largest of the 12 crosses and originally stood on the spot in Trafalgar Square now occupied by a statue of Charles I. It is to this site where the distances to London are measured. Overlooking this spot is St Martin-in-the-Fields, and an earlier version of the church may have been used by travelers en-route to Westminster Abbey. In 2005 Kath Shaljean (1941-2009), a Quaker and lifelong campaigner who worked for many years helping homeless people at the Connection at St Martins (and its predecessor organisation, the St Martin's Social Care Unit), noticed the connection between St Martins and the Queen Eleanor Crosses on a tea towel and it was Kath who first suggested that the route would make an excellent cycle ride - the rest is history!