Milk Street, Bread Street, Wood Street

In the old City of London, many of the streets retain their ancient names from when the settlement traded in rather more modest commodities than the stocks and shares for which it is currently known. Wood Street for timber. Bread Street for loaves. Milk Street for...milk. 

I smiled briefly as I saw a couple of mopeds parked by Oat Lane, the modern equivalent of the horses for which those oats would have been destined.

Gordon and Dewhurst’s 1985 The Ward of Cripplegate in the City of London, confirmed my suspicions about Love Lane: it is indeed where London’s professional ladies plied their trade. Like Vanity Fair, all manner of bartering and exchange took place among these narrow and naïve-sounding thoroughfares.

Yet it was among these highways and byways that a young Anglican cleric called John Wesley found redemption and hope. He wrote of

…Faith in Chrift, I felt my Heart ftrangely warm'd. I felt I did truft in Chrift, Chrift alone for Salvation: And an Affurance was given me, That He had taken away my Sins, even mine, and faved me from the Law of Sin and Death.

No matter through what lanes and alleyways of worldly-minded preoccupation you have moved, you can find the Saviour now. The workaholic, the trader, the proud home-maker, the busy businessman- may your cold hearts be as strangely warmed as Mr Wesley’s. Why waste any more of your time and money on what will not satisfy?

Wisdom calls aloud outside;

She raises her voice in the open squares.

She cries out in the chief concourses,

At the openings of the gates in the city

She speaks her words:

 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?

For scorners delight in their scorning,

And fools hate knowledge. Proverbs 1:20-22


“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,

Come to the waters;

And you who have no money,

Come, buy and eat.

Yes, come, buy wine and milk

Without money and without price.

Why do you spend money for what is not bread,

And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,

And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Isaiah 55:1-3, both NKJV