Beatrice Hankey (1858-1933) was the ninth of ten children in a moderately wealthy, secure, happy and close knit family. Towards the end of the nineteenth century she became active in mission work both at Walmer, Kent where she lived, and also in other towns. She became drawn towards those who were alienated from God and from their community, and she particularly enjoyed working with men.
In 1902 however, God called her to found a fellowship for young women from the more leisured classes, who at that period had little opportunity to pursue a vocation. She was not immediately willing to agree to this call. She records a wet Whitsunday walk during which she wrestled with God about this change of direction. By the end of the walk she had chosen to obey the new call.