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Part 2: The Missionary Record of the United Free Church of Scotland, 1901-1929

The Missionary Record commenced publication in January 1901, when the United Free Church of Scotland realised that there was a need for a popular, photographically illustrated magazine describing their work.  Issued on a monthly basis, it described the missionary work of the Church in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific – as well as more local work in the slums of Glasgow, the Highlands and Islands, and in London settlements.  There were also descriptions of work in Europe and the Middle East.

This was combined with poetry and short stories and regular articles on issues of the day, such as:

  • Adoption of Indian Famine children
  • The Boxer outbreak in China
  • The Liquor Licence Act
  • Immigrants to the Canadian North-West
  • The Forward Movement in Aberdeen
  • The Nashville Student Missionary Convention, 1906
  • The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal
  • Was Jesus a Socialist?
  • Alcohol and Athletics
  • A New Israel
  • The First German Medical Missionary Institute
  • British-American YMCA of Paris
  • Impressions of Church Life in Australia
  • Self-support in Calabar
  • City of Mosques
  • From Slave Boy to Mission Teacher
  • Church and the Farm Worker
  • Great Indian Women
  • Among Stronsay Herring Workers
  • Church Life in the United States
  • First Bantu Presbyterian Church Students
  • The Race Problem
  • The Betting Tax
  • As other Races see us
  • Break up of the Old World order
  • General Smuts on African Missions
  • Broadcasting Religion: The Attitude of the Church to the BBC

The Missionary Record also provides scholars with an unusual view of the First World War, with articles on ‘Work among Troops’, ‘The Inner Life of Soldiers’, ‘With Men at the Front’ and ‘The Women at Home’, as well as views of chaplains from the Front, and reports on Belgian refugees.

Taken together, these features ensure that The Missionary Record is always a fascinating read – and it must have encouraged readers to continue to make donations to support the missionary work.  In fact, this can be seen, as the journal also provides detailed financial summaries of the amount given by each region (perhaps promoting a friendly rivalry?).

Every volume is indexed at the front.  The journal changed title in 1914 from The Missionary Record of the United Free Church of Scotland to The Missionary Record of the United Free Church of Scotland, but numbering continued directly.

The journal finally disappeared in 1929 when it was amalgamated into Life and Work: The Record of the Church of Scotland.

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