Ridsdale Papers

Reference code(s): GB 1835 RID
Held at: Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide (formerly known as the Henry Martyn Centre)
Domain: archival
Title: Ridsdale Papers
Date(s) of contents: 1926-2000
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: *


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: Philip Ridsdale was born in 1916 and was educated at Harrow School and Cambridge University. Here he came into contact with Joe Church, the driving force behind the East African revival in the 1930s. He joined the Church Missionary Society in Western Uganda/ Eastern Congo as a lay helper in 1938. he married Lucy Aikin, a fellow CMS missionary who had been in Uganda since 1936. Ridsdale was called up in 1940 and, during the War, served in Ceylon, India and Burma withe the King's African Rifles. He was wounded in Burma in 1944/45 and, after hospitalisation in Dacca, returned to England. He spent two years studying for the priesthood in Ridley Hall and, after two years as a curate in Lancashire, returned to Africa in 1949. He and his wife became CMS missionaries at Boga in the Eastern Congo. From 1950 to 1955 Ridsdale became rural dean and supervisor in Bunyoro, Uganda and diocesan missioner in Ruwenzori Diocese from 1956 to 1960. Returning to England for family reasons in 1964 he spent seven years as a vicar in the diocese of St Albans before becoming Rurla Dean of Hertford in 1970.

In 1971 Ridsdale was recalled to Africa to become Anglican Bishop in the Congo. He set up new diocese in Bukavu and Kisangani and had seen Bezaleri Ndahura, Bishop of Bukavu, elected Archbishop of the new Province of Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire. In 1980 the Ridsdales retired to Cambridge, England. Ridsdale founded the Congo Church Association, becoming General Commissary unitl 1992 and then Chairman. Bishop Ridsdale deied in June 2000.

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited in 2003


Scope and content/abstract: The collection covers the history of the Anglican Church in Zaire beginning with the consecration of Philip Ridsdale as the first Anglican bishop in 1972 until his death in 2000. The material comprises correspondence, link letters and CMS newsletters, printed material, photographs and accounts relating to the dioceses of Zaire. Alos, some material concerning the diocese of Montreal, Canada which supported the church in the Congo.

System of arrangement: *


Language: English, French and Swahili.

Conditions governing access: Contact repository for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids: *



Archivist's note: Description based on information provided by Dr Sue Sutton, Henry Martyn Centre

Date(s) of descriptions: 2005


Personal names
Ridsdale | Philip | 1916-2000 | Anglican Bishop
Ridsdale | fl. 1936-1980 | missionary

Corporate names
Church Missionary Society

Democratic Republic of Congo [Zaire]