History

Lee Abbey London was founded in 1964 as a not-for-profit charity to provide suitable accommodation in a friendly atmosphere for students coming to London from all over the world. More than 50 years later, the vision remains the same.

The name Lee Abbey comes from a large country house and estate on the north coast of Devon in the south-west of England. In that beautiful setting, a group of Christians from within the Church of England (Anglicans) founded a retreat centre where people could go for spiritual and physical refreshment. This work began in 1946 and continues today.

Some of the people involved in establishing and leading Lee Abbey in Devon became acutely aware of the difficulties facing young people from overseas who came to study in London. Many were forced to live in expensive and overcrowded accommodation. And so the Lee Abbey International Students’ Club was set up in London in 1964. Its mission was to care for people and show hospitality, which is at the heart of the Christian faith. Those founding principles make Lee Abbey London the special place it is today.