One of the three key elements of St Matthew’s mission statement in the 21st century is that of ’hospitality’. Without the vision, commitment and generosity of the benefactors and clergy of the nineteenth century, St Matthew’s would not have the excellent facilities available now. The theme of hospitality dates from the opening of Clergy House as quoted in the report from the parish magazine below.
Saturday 7 November 1891, the day of the opening, was described as ‘a great day in the annals of St Matthew’s’; the house had been planned for a long time. The night before the ‘work went on merrily until midnight’ in the chapel and vestry and the cleaners worked until 4.30am in the church! 
The Blessing of the House
The service of Blessing had been preceded by four earlier services including a celebration of Holy Communion (Choral) with a sermon by Fr Maturin. There followed an ‘interval’ of ten minutes before the Blessing:
‘The Bishop of Marlborough entered the Church though the new vestry with Mr Jervois and Mr Sinclair (an old friend of St Matthew’s) as his chaplains. The Service began before the Altar and then proceeded into the House, followed by the parish Clergy, a psalm sung meanwhile. The congregation remained on the ground floor, in order to avoid the crush and confusion that must otherwise have been caused, while the Bishop and Clergy passed from room to room, beginning at the top of the house. A prayer was said in each room and psalms sung at intervals.’ 
‘at which about 120 persons, most of them being friends of the parish and subscribers from a distance, were present. Mr J A Shaw Stewart was in the Chair, and a very kindly and genial chairman he always is. Speeches followed which happily were not too long and in which many kind things were said about St Matthew’s and the new house. After the chairman had proposed ‘Church and Queen’ Sir William Jervois proposed “The Bishops and Clergy of the Diocese”.
The Bishop of Marlborough replied ‘in a very interesting speech, in which he spoke of his warm interest in the parish and its work, and also alluded to the Brotherhood of St Paul working in the north of London, which he had been instrumental in founding.’
‘Success to the new house was next proposed by the chairman and responded to by the Vicar, who explained its uses and intentions, and how the plans had gradually, in the course of four or five years grown and extended themselves.
Later in the same article, details of how they envisaged using the house are provided;
‘Not only is it an advantage to us to be living under one roof [the clergy team at St Matthew’s] also as the Church, but the fact of having room to turn round and to do our work and entertain people, makes almost more difference that one would have thought possible, and certainly ought to extend our usefulness.’ 
‘Upstairs in three rooms, tea was supplied. And here again, we must not omit to say how greatly we appreciated the kindness and real hard work of the ladies who arranged and presided over this department of the business. Men are not good at managing tea so we were the more grateful to the ladies who relieved us of the anxiety. We do not think that many people can have escaped tea-less’. 
Following the tea, the visitors were taken on a ‘tour of discovery’ . ‘Personally conducted tours… were continually being made up, and the house was inspected from head to foot’. The house looked ‘very pretty’ as people had sent ‘flowers in such abundance for the opening day’.  They were grateful to the number of clergy of Westminster who came and all those who had paid subscriptions for the house.