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Section IV: Africa Missions

Part 25: Africa General, 1935-1949

Section IV Part 25 covers the papers for Africa General for the period 1935-1949. It provides details on how African missions prepared for the Second World War, how they fared during the conflict and what challenges they faced in the post-war years. There is much material covering:

• The increased Africanization of the Mission’s medical and educational work – what contribution did this make to post-war nationalism?

• The education of women in Africa

• The post-war crisis in funding and its consequences

Also included is a small section covering both Africa and Asia General for the same period.

Africa General, 1935-1949

As war approached the missions in Africa prepared for the inevitable and there is much correspondence regarding the call up of missionaries to military service and the void left in the missions. Circulars abound regarding furloughs, the staffing of missions, war service, mission finance and education.

With the loss of missionaries to the war effort it was necessary to recruit more local staff and much can be found on this topic. Memos tell of the desperate need for educational, medical and evangelical staff due to retirements, deaths and the war and give lists of the staff needed. Statistics are provided on the number of men and women offering service, letters from potential candidates and letters of recommendation are included together with minutes of meetings of the Recruiting Committee.

With the rapid growth of the Christian Church in Africa around the time of World War II, the future direction of mission education in Africa was a topic of great importance and a Consultative Committee on African Education was appointed. The papers provide the scholar also with much detail on the progress to self-government of the mission schools. The many items on education include:

• lists of CMS schools and colleges in Africa
• memos on the rapid growth of the Christian Churches
• reports on the training of native clergy
• memos on the training of educational missionaries
• notes on the ‘Education and future development of Africa’ written by academics of the Anthropological Museum at the University of Aberdeen, the Fabian Colonial Bureau, the Council of the League of Nations and the Overseas League
• correspondence from the Secretary in London, Rev H D Hooper
• report on women’s education as a way of accelerating social progress in the Colonial Empire
• notes on the educational commitments of the Yoruba mission
• analysis of the situation facing CMS in the missions in 1944 with statistics
• a memo entitled “Should Missions Carry on Educational Work in Africa?”
• a pamphlet entitled “Missionary education in Kenya and Uganda. A Study of Co-operation” by J W C Dougall
• a report on primary education in Africa by Mr G E I Cockin, Supervisor of Schools in the Niger Mission, 1943
• a pamphlet on the Institute of Christian Education at Home and Overseas together with minutes of their meetings
• conclusions of a Conference of Educational Missionaries, organised to review educational policy in West Africa
• memo and reports from the Conference of Missionary Societies in Great Britain and Ireland advising on the development of higher education in West Africa
• notes on girls’ education in West Africa and Southern Sudan
• memo on the future of Fourah Bay College
• constitution details of self governing schools such as the CMS Girls’ Secondary School, Lagos and the Kudeti United Training Centre in Ibadan
• report on the strengthening of CMS work in Southern Sudan with a memo on a ten year scheme to develop Christian education
• report on the development of education in Uganda and Tanganyika
• report of a conference of women missionaries on the education of African girls in Kenya
• proposed educational developments in Transjordan

For the period 1935-1949 financial problems were of major concern to CMS. Details included are:

• budgets for colleges such as the Mens’ Missionary College
• proposals for the reduction of expenditure in Africa missions
• list of cuts in expenditure to be enforced in the missions in 1937
• report of the Estimates Committee, 1939-1940
• notes regarding the post war financial crisis of the Christian Church in the Sudan
• a pamphlet on the analysis of the situation facing CMS in 1944 with statistics
• summary of accounts for the Kenya mission
• minutes of the Africa Committee concerning expenditure

The growth in nationalism is touched on in these papers with reports on the growth of interest of Africans in the effects of colonial policy and an interesting account of a visit to missions in West Africa by Miss Price in 1948 which includes details on the tensions between black and white, the sensitivity of Africans to the appointments of white people in high places in society and a fear that Africans would be overlooked. Included also are reports on education, women’s work and medical work.

Other topics covered in the papers are:

• Church Union schemes with notes on the beginnings of a movement for more co-operation between different missions in Kenya and Nigeria; pamphlets with information on a conference held in Nairobi in 1932 and minutes of Committees for Church Union in East Africa and South Eastern Nigeria in 1935
• circulars ranging from a memo on the constitution of Churches to one requesting data from educational institutions
• memos regarding cooperation with governments in Africa
• the administration and organisation of CMS Overseas

Africa and Asia General, 1935-1949

This small section contains mainly material relating to the health of missionaries in the African and Asian missions for the period. It features memos from the Women’s Health Advisory Groups in China, Africa and India and reports on ways to increase the happiness and effectiveness of women missionaries in China. There is also information on the health of women missionaries in Africa and recommendations following a medical survey on health breakdowns in recruits under 26 years old.l

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