Papers of the Mid-Africa Ministry

Reference code(s): GB 0150 MAM
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Special Collections Department
Title: Papers of the Mid-Africa Ministry
Date(s) of contents: 1914-1993
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 14 boxes


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: The Mid-Africa Ministry, originally named Ruanda Mission (CMS), began as part of the Church Missionary Society and its two pioneer missionaries worked for CMS before going to Ruanda. Dr. Leonard Sharp and Dr. A. C. Stanley Smith were convinced of God's call to work in Ruanda and offered to CMS for that work. They were sent at first to Mengo Hospital in Uganda, but in December 1916 made an exploratory visit to Ruanda. In 1917, the CMS Uganda missionary committee received an appeal for medical help from Ruandans in Ruanda and Kigezi. The CMS committee in London were unable to agree to this expansion of work because of the lack of funds, but the two doctors began to raise funds independently and by 1919 were able to guarantee support both for four years' work and for a hospital. There were some remaining difficulties over staffing and finally the Kigezi district of South West Uganda was suggested and agreed as a place to start rather than beginning in Ruanda itself. In 1920, the CMS Committee in London accepted the doctors' offer, the work to be accountable to their Uganda missionary committee.
In the early days support was given and organised by 'Friends of Ruanda', but 1926 the Ruanda Council was formed as a CMS committee in charge of the administration of the work. In 1929 it took full financial responsibility for the mission, though it was not separated from the CMS mission in Uganda until 1933. The main places of work are Gahini (1928), Shyira and Kigeme (1932), in Ruanda; Kabale (1921) and Bunyoni (1931) in Uganda; Matana and Buhiga (1935) and Buye [Ibuye] (1936) in Burundi. Other places where MAM Mission partners have worked include: Ruanda: Butare (Astrida), Kigali, Nyamata, Shyogwe; Uganda: Budo, Bwana, Bwerinyangi, Gayaza, Kabarole, Kisiizi, Mengo, Ndeje, Remera, Rugarama, Rukingiri; Burundi: Bujumbura, Gitega, Kibimba, Kivimba, Muyebe, Nyankanda and Vugizo (overlooking Bujumbura); Tanzania: Bugufi.
The first central office of the Mid Africa Ministry, which opened in 1932, was at 4 Aldermanbury Avenue. These premises were bombed in 1940 and for the duration of the war its staff operated from home. From 1946 until 1956, it was based at 42 St Peter's Road, Croydon, from 1956-1960 at 7 Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, London and from 1960 until 1972 at St Mark's Church, Kennington. Since 1973, it has operated from 157 Waterloo Road, London and is now part of the Church Mission Society.
Source: Catalogue of the papers of the Mid Africa Ministry: catalogued by Rosemary A. Keen, 1999).

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by the Church Mission Society in 1999


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of the Mid-Africa Ministry (MAM) comprising administrative correspondence and papers, 1926-1949 including correspondence between the General Secretary and individual missionaries and staff, 1936-1949; minutes of the Ruanda Council , 1926-1940 and notes on agendas, 1934-1950; correspondence with and from the field, 1917-1952, including correspondence between the Field Secretary and Home Council, with the Church Missionary Society, with the Bishop of Uganda and with individual missionaries; copies of its periodicals, newsletters and other serial publications, 1920-1993; books and pamphlets published by MAM or written by its missionaries; MAM publicity and other literature; and other related printed and published material not produced by MAM

System of arrangement: The papers are arranged in four series: Administration (A), Committee work (C), Correspondence (Y) and Education (E)


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Open Access to all registered readers

Conditions governing reproduction: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections (email: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material

Finding aids: A paper catalogue of the collection is available in the Special Collections Department and at the National Register of Archives in London


Related material: Information about the founding and early history of the mission for the 1920s period will also be found in the official archive of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). For example, the Proceedings of the CMS list the mission stations and the missionaries; Annual Letters of the MAM missionaries are in the CMS archives (CMS/G3/AL); incoming and outgoing correspondence can be found in the records of the Uganda Mission, 1916-1932 (CMS/ G3/A7] and the Ruanda Mission 1933-1934 (CMS/G3/A11)


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 30/09/2002, modified 10/10/2002


Personal names

Corporate names
Ruanda Mission

Central Africa