Council for World Mission Archive


IDENTITY STATEMENT
Reference code(s): GB 0102 CWM
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies Library
Domain: archival
Title: Council for World Mission Archive
Date(s) of contents: 1764-1970
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 2,480 boxes of archival material

CONTEXT

Name of creator(s):

Colonial Missionary Society
Commonwealth Missionary Society
Congregational Missionary Society
London Missionary Society
Missionary Society

Administrative/Biographical history:

The Council for World Mission is a co-operative of 31 Christian denominations world wide, and was established in its present form in 1977. It grew out of the London Missionary Society (founded 1795), the Commonwealth (Colonial) Missionary Society (1836) and the Presbyterian Board of Missions (1847).

During the period after 1945, the work of the London Missionary Society (LMS) evolved from traditional mission fieldwork to a more democratic and decentralised structure based on the development of local churches and local church leadership. This response was brought about not only in answer to so-called 'decolonisation' but also to social and political change and demographic shifts in the post-war years. In 1966 the LMS ceased to exist as a Society and merged with the Commonwealth Missionary Society to form the Congregational Council for World Mission (CCWM). The Presbyterian Church of England Foreign Missions Committee joined with the Congregational Church of England and Wales (a constituent body of CCWM) in 1972 to form the United Reformed Church. This led to a name change in 1973 when the CCWM became the Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed). The CWM (Congregational and Reformed) was again restructured to create the Council for World Mission in 1977. This structure was more internationalist, reflecting greater ecumenism and church independence, and the end of Western dominance in the mission field. The CWM today is a global body, which aids resource sharing for missionary activity by the CWM community of churches.

The Colonial Missionary Society was founded in 1836 to work with British colonies, and to provide ministers for communities in Canada and America. In 1956 it changed its name to the Commonwealth Missionary Society, merging with the LMS in 1966.

The Council for World Mission is at present administered as a charity, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners (comprised on 14 June 1966 and revised 29 March 1977), with the express aim 'to spread the knowledge of Christ throughout the world'. The Council includes members appointed by its constituent bodies, and meets once every two years. An Executive Committee is appointed by the Council, and holds at least two meetings per year. A General Secretary and other officers are also appointed by the Council.

In 2001 a consultation paper, A New Structure of Governance for CWM, was published, which will lead to a structural change in the way in which the Council for World Mission is administered.

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited on permanent loan by the Congregational Council for World Mission (later Council for World Mission) in 1973.

CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

Scope and content/abstract:

Records, 1764-1970, of Council for World Mission predecessor bodies, including records of the London Missionary Society, 1764-1966, and records of the Commonwealth Missionary Society, 1836-1966.

System of arrangement:

The collection is divided between papers of the London Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/LMS) and papers of the Commonwealth Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/CMS), comprising one main accession, 1795-1940, and three accruals, 1941-1950, 1951-1960, and 1961-1970.

ACCESS AND USE

Language:

Mainly English, with some French, Malagasy, Chinese and Pacific languages.

Conditions governing access:

Candidates papers are available only to 1940 and certain categories of medical records are closed. Otherwise unrestricted.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to the Archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Rev. C. Stuart Craig, The archives of the Council for World Mission (incorporating the London Missionary Society): an outline guide (London: School of Oriental and African Studies, 1973; revised 1980).

An unpublished draft guide to the CWM/LMS/CMS papers, 1795-1940, was prepared by Hannah Lowery in 1994.

Unpublished bound volumes of inventories to correspondence, journals and missionary deputations, 1795-c1900, are available in the Special Collections Reading Room in the Library at SOAS.

ALLIED MATERIALS

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies also holds the Council for World Mission Library of c13,000 books and pamphlets, and papers of the Presbyterian Church of England Foreign Missions Committee (Ref: PCE) and Women's Missionary Association (Ref: PCE/WMA). Some CWM archive materials, including picture archives, are still held by the Council for World Mission, and are awaiting transfer to SOAS.

Publication note:

Rev. C. Stuart Craig, The archives of the Council for World Mission (incorporating the London Missionary Society): an outline guide (London: School of Oriental and African Studies, 1973; revised 1980).

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Date(s) of descriptions: 15th May 2000, revised 27th February 2002


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Ancient religions
Christianity
Christians
Congregationalism
Congregationalists
Mission administration
Mission policy
Missionary societies
Missionary work
Protestantism
Protestants
Religions
Religious activities
Religious groups
Religious institutions
Religious movements
Religious organizations

Personal names

Corporate names
Colonial Missionary Society xx Commonwealth Missionary Society xx Congregational Missionary Society
Commonwealth Missionary Society xx Colonial Missionary Society xx Congregational Missionary Society
Congregational Council for World Mission xx Council for World Mission xx
Congregational Missionary Society xx Colonial Missionary Society xx Commonwealth Missionary Society
Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed)
Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed) xx Congregational Council for World Mission xx Council for World Mission
Council for World Mission xx Congregational Council for World Mission xx Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed)
LMS | London Missionary Society xx London Missionary Society xx Missionary Society
London Missionary Society xx LMS | London Missionary Society xx Missionary Society
Missionary Society xx LMS | London Missionary Society xx London Missionary Society

Places