Name of creator(s): Hood, George (b 1917)
Administrative/Biographical history: George A. Hood, missionary of the Presbyterian Church of England, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1917. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School and from there won a history scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated in history in 1938. He trained for the ministry at Westminster College, Cambridge (1938-1941), and this was followed by missionary training at Selly Oak, Birmingham; Chinese language study at SOAS; and experience of church extension work. He was a missionary in the Chao-zhou area of East Guangdong (Kwangtung, 1945-1950) and in Malaya and Singapore (1951-1972). In China he combined theological teaching with pastoral oversight of city and rural churches. In Malaysia he served the Chinese Presbyterian Church as a minister of both the Chinese and English-speaking congregations and in the whole range of its activities including acting as secretary of movements for church growth. For many periods he was also secretary of the Mission Council, made up of the missionaries working with that Church. Between 1969 and 1972 he was involved in research for the Conference of British Missionary Societies on the selfhood of the Church, and produced the report In Whole and in Part. When the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches formed the United Reformed Church he became East Asian Secretary of the Council for World Mission (1972-1977), and after that, from 1977 to 1982, he taught at Selly Oak Colleges in the Department of Mission and served as tutor in St Andrew's Hall. With the approach of retirement he was able to pursue his historical research into the church in China, and in 1985 received his PhD from the University of Birmingham. His thesis was on the history of the English Presbyterian Mission in Lingtung, South China and was published in 1986 under the title of Mission Accomplished? by Peter Lang, Frankfurt. Other books and articles, mostly relating to the church in China, have followed, including Neither Bang Nor Whimper (1991), an account of the end of the missionary era in China. Since 1981 he has visited China on numerous occasions and in 1985 became the first chairman of the Friends of the Church in China. In 1943 Hood married Elizabeth M. James, herself the daughter and grand-daughter of missionaries (since 1869) in the Chao-zhou area of China. They have one daughter and one son.
Immediate source of acquisition: The collection was presented to the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World by George Hood in c 1990. It was sorted and listed by Ralph Covell in 1992.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: The collection does not relate to Hood's time in China. It consists of: (1) Material relating to the Presbyterian Church in Singapore and Malaysia or the Chinese Christian Church, in particular: Malaya Synod papers, minutes, financial material and newsletters (1948-1970); material on the South Malaya and Singapore Presbyteries and Chinese Churches in these areas (1950s-1971); papers on the Five Year Movement (1963-1969); and on English speaking schools in Singapore. (2) Material relating to the English Presbyterian churches in Malaya and Singapore (1957-1968). (3) Material on the Malayan Christian Council, later the Council of Churches of Malaysia and Singapore including minutes, newsletters, and items on the Home and Family Life committee (1953-1968). (4) Minutes and papers relating to meetings of the Malaya Mission Council. (5) Correspondence between Hood, church and mission officials, and others (1951-1962). (6) Papers, reports and printed items on Christian rural work in Asia (1959-1960s). (6) General Asian mission or Christian journals and other printed items. (7) Questionnaires used in and conclusions drawn from Hood's Selfhood and Universality study (1969-1970). (8) Material relating to Living Issues courses at Selly Oak Colleges (1979-1980).
System of arrangement: The material was re-filed by Ralph Covell in 1992. It is not clear how the files were arranged when they first came to the Centre. The arrangement above was agreed after consultation with George Hood.
ACCESS AND USE
Language: English and Chinese.
Conditions governing access: Contact the repository for details.
Conditions governing reproduction: Contact the repository for details.
Finding aids: A handlist is available.
Related material: The archives of the English Presbyterian (now United Reformed) Church are at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. The Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World has the archives of John Fleming, Church of Scotland missionary in Singapore and south-east Asia.
Archivist's note: Compiled by Caroline Brown, Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, Edinburgh University.
Note: The biographical history was compiled using (1) the collection itself, and (2) information supplied by George Hood.
Date(s) of descriptions: 1 August, 2001