Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/C
TitleCandidates Department
Extent142 boxes
DescriptionRecords of the first 70 years of the Candidates Department 1897-1968, together with correspondence between the CMS, candidates, and intending candidates, prior to the establishment of the Department 1846-1875, 1887 and compilations of candidates papers and candidate registers spanning the two time periods. Primarily comprising correspondence 1846-1913 and 1942-1950 (including outgoing correspondence of the Home Preparation Union 1910-1913), a large sequence of training papers and correspondence relating to candidates offering for service 1850-1968 and committee minutes and meeting papers 1903-1951. Also including small sequences of finance papers 1907-1948, statistics and administrative data 1925-1947, policies and procedures 1908-1949, records of the Women's Health Advisory Group 1940-1944, papers concerning enquiries and offers of service from refugees and others of Jewish descent immediately prior to and during the early years of World War II 1938-1942 and additional miscellaneous correspondence, memoranda and papers 1933-1949. As the Men Candidates Secretary was responsible for correspondence with overseas branches of the CMS from the early 1890s there are also letters and papers relating to candidates recruited through affiliated organisations in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the West Indies 1892-c 1939.

The records relate to the recruitment, training and selection of missionaries with correspondence and papers concerning the Society's approach to recruitment and training, records of selected training institutions and a large body of correspondence and papers relating to specific individuals including candidate application papers, referee and interviewers' reports, training college reports, candidate file records and terms and conditions for missionaries recruited under short service contracts and special agreements. They generally include records from initial enquiries about the possibility of missionary service to the point at which successful candidates sailed for their first mission station overseas, a period which for some spanned several years. There are also some references to missionaries who, having begun their missionary service, came back in to contact with the Department, for example, to re-offer for service after retirement or on the ending of a short service contract, or to share their experiences of putting into practice in the mission field the training they had received as a candidate. The records include correspondence and papers of men and women who did not go on to become CMS missionaries, either because they decided not to proceed or were unsuccessful in their application.

They are a particularly valuable source of biographical information. For men and women who went on to work as missionaries for the CMS they complement the overseas (mission) papers, providing information on their life and personal circumstances prior to the start of their service for the Society. They can provide information on candidates and intending candidates who corresponded with the Society but did not proceed to missionary service especially when used alongside the training records and minutes in the General Secretary and Medical Department records.

The papers and correspondence of overseas branches of the CMS reflect the changing relationship between the Church of England overseas and national churches in former British colonies.

The records are limited in that they suffer extensive gaps, partly through loss, partly because some of the papers are not yet available for research, and partly because the records relating to recruitment, selection and training during this time period are not exclusive to the Candidates Department. If it is not possible to locate an individual in the papers, it cannot be assumed that they did not apply to the CMS; equally research into the Society's approach to training and recruitment, the work of the training institutions and committees involved, requires additional searching. The records need to be used in conjunction with those of other CMS home departments particularly the General Secretary's Department papers.
ArrangementThe classification system used for the records of the Candidates Department is that used for the majority of the CMS official archives. Each Secretary to a CMS full committee has a department/division at headquarters. These departments have been allocated a reference letter (eg C Candidates Department , F Finance Department , H Home Division) and the files of each department divided into groups according to the use which the department gave them, eg A Administration, C Committee work. Where this grouping is very large there are further subdivisions, eg C Correspondence, T Training.

The records of the Candidates Department are arranged in five series:
/A Administration (subdivided into Correspondence /AC, House and general administration /AH, Missionaries AM, Policy /AP, Training /AT - /ATm for men and /ATw for women - and Miscellaneous /AZ);
/C Committee work;
/F Finance;
/P Politics;
/Y Correspondence with overseas
Access ConditionsPapers for prospective missionaries are by their nature highly confidential; completed application forms include not only biographical information, but declarations of belief, details of spiritual growth and vocation. Thus, while the Department's records are basically available when 40 years old, the 'candidates' packets' are only available after the person's death or 105 years after their birth. Furthermore candidates' application papers 1939-1968 (C/ATm 1 and C/ATw 1) and some of the colonial association papers (C/Y 2-3) are not yet available for research (2008). Wher files are closed this is indicated in the file level entry of the catalogue.
DocumentCMS Candidates Department Guide.pdf
Access StatusPartially closed
Physical DescriptionWhen quoting the file reference it is essential to have the department letter as well as the rest, eg, CMS/C/AP 1 rather than AP 1, as the sub-references occur in the papers of nearly all the various departments at headquarters.

The records of the Candidates Department have suffered significant losses. CMS Headquarters at Salisbury Square was hit by incendiary bombs 27 and 29 December 1940. One bomb came through the ceiling of the Candidates Department and destroyed many of its current records as well as causing considerable damage to its minute books and some other papers. For 1865-1890 no application forms or papers for missionary candidates survive, while for 1890-1940 one small trunkful alone was passed to the Archives Department. In 1989 there was a small fire in the Society's off-site store. This destroyed the papers of candidates whose offers had not been accepted, or who had withdrawn at some point before they began their work; the papers lost covered the period from the 1940s to 1960s. The fire also destroyed the papers of those who had gone out under the One Year Abroad and other schemes in the late 1960s to 1970s.
Administrative HistoryFrom the founding of the Society, the work of seeking out and training missionary candidates was the responsibility of the General Secretary (known as the 'Honorary Clerical Secretary' until 1922). During Henry Venn's time in office, one of his fellow Secretaries was given the primary responsibility, but after Venn's retirement in 1872 the task reverted to the General Secretary. In 1891 pressure of work led to the appointment of an Assistant Clerical Secretary whose sole job was to work with prospective candidates. In 1897 the Assistant was made a full Secretary of the Society and the Candidates Department was formed (although the General Secretary continued to consider himself chief Candidates Secretary until the major reorganisation of the Secretary's headquarters' administration in 1982).

The Candidates Department's task was to correspond with, and be responsible for, prospective missionaries from the time of their first application until their departure to the mission field. The Secretary was also responsible for corresponding with the overseas branches of the CMS whose acceptance of candidates from the 1890s until about the 1920s had to be approved by CMS London.

Initially the committee responsible for recruitment and selection of candidates was the Committee of Correspondence (which became the Foreign Committee 1916-1919, and the Home and Foreign Committee 1919-1923). The Committee of Correspondence and its successors reported to the CMS General Committee, nominating candidates for acceptance as missionaries. Over time the demands of the role meant that whilst the decision as to whether or not a candidate was nominated for acceptance remained with this Committee, much of the work of selection was delegated to three sub-committees: the Clerical Sub-Committee, the Training Colleges Committee (formerly the Islington College Visitors 1825-1915 and Training College Visitors 1916-1929) and the Women Candidates Committee (known as the 'Ladies' Candidates Committee' until December 1913). There was also a Bermondsey Training Home Committee which reported to the Ladies' Candidates Committee. A further sub-committee was established in 1906 with the appointment of the Men Candidates Committee (initially known as the 'Candidates Committee'). The Men Candidates Committee had a lead role such that, from 1906, the Clerical Sub-Committee and the Women Candidates Committee reported to the Men Candidates Committee rather than direct to the Home and Foreign Committee; the Training Colleges Committee reported to the Men Candidates Committee in matters concerning individual students but otherwise continued to report to the Home and Foreign Committee. In 1920, the Men and Women Secretaries and their committees were given equal status and henceforth both reported directly to the Home and Foreign Committee and later the Executive Committee. From its appointment in 1923, the Executive took over from the General Committee responsibility for approving candidates nominated by the candidates committees (sources: G. Hewitt, 'The problems of success: a history of the Church Missionary Society, 1910-1942', London: published for the Church Missionary Society by SCM Press 1971-1977 and CMS minutes G/C 1).

At first the Department was considered part of the Honorary Clerical Secretary's responsibility, but in 1914 it was proposed that for administrative purposes it should be a branch of the Foreign Department (Africa and Asia). In practice it appears to have retained independence while being very closely linked with both the Foreign Department and the General Secretary's Department.

When the Society moved its headquarters in 1966, the Candidates Department was placed with the General Secretary's Department. A review of Headquarters organisation quickly followed and in 1968 a new Personnel Division was set up of which the Candidates Department formed the major part, but which also included the Conditions of Service Department, the Library and Archives.

In 1973 the committee structure of the Society was changed and, although its work and responsibility remaining unchanged, the Candidates Committee became the Selection and Training Committee. In 1982 there was a complete reorganisation at Headquarters and the Personnel Division was changed so that it incorporated the Candidates Department and the departments for Headquarters' personnel, interchange and medical. The first Personnel Secretary was the former Candidates Secretary, but with overall responsibility for all staff employed by CMS. The Assistant Candidates Secretary, who from 1977 had the title Overseas Service Adviser, was responsible for all missionaries and in effect had the work that was originally done by the Candidates Secretary.

Recruitment and Short Service Sub-Departments:
A Secretary for Recruitment was attached to the Department in 1937 but when he left in 1940 his post remained unfilled because of the war. In 1966 a Recruiting Secretary was appointed, administratively within the Home Division. His title was changed to Overseas Service Adviser in 1970. When his successor was appointed in 1971, the title remained the same but the post became part of the Candidates Department.

From the early 20th cent missionaries were sent out under special agreements for short term service overseas. In the early 1960s CMS set up a One Year Abroad Scheme intended to match the Voluntary Service Overseas Scheme but aimed at young people who might welcome links with a missionary society. In 1963 an assistant was appointed to administer the scheme who in 1972 was given the title Youth Service Abroad Secretary. As time passed more offers from older people were received and in 1978 the name was changed to volunteers and later to short term mission partners. The job title changed to Volunteers Secretary in 1978 and to Short-Service Adviser in 1989.

Training institutions for men:
A Preparatory Institution was run from Reading, Berkshire from 1869-1887; it was later moved to Clapham 1888-1902 and Blackheath 1902-1912. The first training college, in Islington, was opened 31 January 1825 and known at first as the 'Church Missionary Institute'; it was closed in 1915 as a result of the war and the men transferred to St John's, Highbury. In 1918 it was proposed that a hostel, to be known as 'St Andrew's', should be purchased for use in the preliminary preparation of candidates, while those taking a degree should reside at Cambridge. The hostel property, 173 and 175 Green Lanes, Stoke Newington, was acquired in 1920. In 1923 it was handed over to women's training and from 1923 to 1927 there was no centre for men's training. The Henry Venn Hostel, Highbury, was opened in 1927, but in 1934 the men were transferred to more spacious accommodation at St Andrew's. By 1937 alternative accommodation was being considered and Selly Oak, Birmingham, was suggested in 1939. With the outbreak of war the men were transferred, some to Selly Oak and some to Wigram House, Streatham. Liskeard Lodge at Blackheath was bought and opened in May 1946 but it was later decided that a house near the women's training college at 'Foxbury', Chislehurst, would be more convenient. A house, known as 'The Woodlands' but renamed 'Liskeard Lodge', was procured and men were transferred there in 1952. This house was closed when men and women's training was amalgamated and removed to Crowther Hall, Selly Oak, Birmingham in the autumn of 1969.

Training institutions for women:
Following the 1890 Keswick Letter (see CMS/G/AK), and the subsequent sub-committee on candidates, a CMS Training Home for women was opened July 1891 in Highbury. In 1892 it settled at 65, Highbury Hill. The same year CMS formally agreed to use also 'The Willows', Stoke Newington, one of the Mildmay Institutions which was already training CEZMS candidates. From 1894-1911 'The Olives', Eton Avenue, Hampstead was also used. In 1901 a further training place specifically for medical students was opened in Riley Street, Bermondsey together with a hostel for medical and educational students in Guildford Street, Bermondsey; both were closed 1907/1908 because of the Society's need to cut costs. In 1917 the Society closed the Highbury Home and bought 'The Willows' renaming it 'Kennaway Hall', after the Society's President, Sir John Kennaway Bt, who retired that year. From 1920 an additional hostel in Maresfield Gardens was used for the overflow of students from Kennaway and, from 1923-1934 women students were also trained at St Andrew's, Stoke Newington (before it reverted to training CMS men). In 1936 plans were underway to find alternative accommodation and, after the decision to move out of London, a house called 'Foxbury' at Chislehurst in Kent was purchased in 1938. With the outbreak of war the following year some candidates were transferred to Carey Hall, Selly Oak, Birmingham and part of CMS headquarters moved to Foxbury. Headquarters returned to London in August 1940 and Foxbury was re-opened for candidates but when it had to be left again in October because of the bombing, students were evacuated to Ridley Hall, Cambridge and the house taken over by the army; CMS did not regain possession until November 1945. Foxbury was reopened for training in February 1946. In the autumn of 1969, all missionary training moved to Crowther Hall, Selly Oak and Foxbury was retained as a community house for the Society.

Tutor-in-Charge of the Preparatory Institution
1868-1885 Robert Bren; 1885-c 1887 J. Ireland Jones; c 1887-1907 Frank Edward Middleton; 1907- C. E. Stock.

Principals of Training Colleges for men:
Islington College: 1825-1838 John Norman Pearson; 1839-1858 Charles F. Childe; 1858-1870 Thomas Green; 1870-1875 Andrew Hollingworth Frost; 1875-1882 William Hagger Barlow; 1882-1899 Thomas Wortley Drury; 1900-1917 John Alfred Lightfoot.

St Andrews: 1920-1923 John Anthony Wook; 1935-1939 Arthur Alan Western Gray.

Liskeard Lodge: 1946-1951 Robert Render Young; 1951-1962 Douglas Noel Sargent; 1962-1967 Dennis Brookes Runcorn; 1967-1969 Juergen Simonson.

Crowther Hall: 1969-1975 Simon Barrington-Ward; 1975 (Colin Gilbert Chapman acting); 1975-1984 Peter St George Vaughan; 1984-1990 Maurice Walter Sinclair; 1990-1997 Colin Chapman; 1997-2004: George Kovoor.

Principals of Training Colleges for women:
The Willows (run independently until 1917 when it was purchased by CMS): 1885-1896 Miss Emily Schroder; 1896-189? Miss Emily Goodwyn; 190?-1918 Miss Wood.

Kennaway Hall (formerly 'The Willows'): 1918-1920 Mrs Edith Hooper; 1921-1928 Miss Constance Mary Richardson; 1929-1930 Miss C. Butler; 1930-1934 Miss Adelaide Margaret Hind; 1934-1939 Miss Florence Allshorn.

Highbury Training Home: 1891- Miss Ellen and Miss Mary Cates.

Bermondsey Medical Training Home: 1901-1904 Miss Charlotte Walker; 1904-1907 Miss M. E. Parry.

St Andrews Hostel wardens: 1924-1927 Miss Thora Stone; 1928 Dr Charlotte Bacon; 1929-1934 Miss Florence Allshorn.

Foxbury: 1939-1940 Miss Florence Allshorn; 1941-1944 Miss Margaret Irene Potts; 1944-1945 Mrs Hilda Margaret Stovold; 1946-1947 Mrs Winifred McKeeman; 1947-1957 Miss Irene W. Tatham (acting: October 1947-April 1948); 1957-1964 Miss Margaret Agnes Joan (Molly) Kluht; 1964-1966 Miss Mary Child (acting); 1966-1967 Miss Margaret Robson (acting; joined Liskeard Lodge 1967).

CMS Secretary with responsibility for candidates prior to formation of the Candidates Department:
1850-1862 William Knight (Honorary Secretary); 1864-1868 John Mee (Secretary 1865-1869); 1868-1873 Christopher Cyprian Fenn (Honorary Secretary 1864-1894); 1873-1880 Henry Wright (Secretary to the General Committee 1872-1880); 1880-1891 Frederick Edward Wigram (Secretary to the General Committee 1872-1880); 1891-1892 W. M. Carruthers (Assistant Clerical Secretary (mainly for Candidates)); 1892-1897 David Hamilton Dickson Wilkinson (Assistant Clerical Secretary (mainly for Candidates)).

Secretary to Men Candidates Committee (initially with the title 'Secretary to the Candidates Committee') 1897-1968:
December 1897-September 1913 David Hamilton Dickson Wilkinson; 1913-1914 (George Backhouse Durrant acting); January 1915-1916 Disney Charles Woodhouse; 1916-1919 (George Thomas Manley acting); June 1919-March 1923 Louis Bernard Butcher; March 1923-March 1926 (George Bertram Redman acting); May 1926-October 1941 George Frederick Sloan; October 1941-June 1942 (Geoffrey Franceys Cranswick acting); July 1942-September 1950 Geoffrey John Rogers; October 1950-September 1957 Harry August Wittenbach; November 1957-November 1959 Kenneth William Seymour Jardine; January 1960-July 1963 Brian John Hector de Saram; September 1963-January 1964 Reginald Culliford Palin; February 1964-April 1968 William Harvey Cantrell.

Secretary to Women Candidates Committee (initially 'Ladies' Candidates Secretary') 1891-1968:
1891-1910 November Miss M. Brophy; December 1910-1918 Mrs Elaine Thornton; 1919-1921 May Miss F. Dora Dupuis (1919-July 1920 acting); 1921-1936 Miss Elsie Thorpe (1921-1922 acting); September 1936-1946 Miss Agnes Robina (Ena) Price; June 1946-June 1957 Miss Eldyth Elwin; September 1957-October 1960 Miss Ruth Lea Douglass; November 1960-December 1961 (Miss Rachel Hassan acting); January 1962-December 1967 Miss Margaret Lindesay Guillebaud; January 1968-April 1968 Miss Margaret Agnes Joan (Molly) Kluht (last meeting of Committee 24 April 1968).

Secretary to Candidates Committee (first meeting 1 May 1968):
1969-1973 Miss Maureen Pritchard

Secretary to Selection and Training Committee (first meeting 25 September 1973):
1973-1986 Miss Margaret Helen Beaver; 1986- Gavin Keith Barr

Secretary for Recruiting:
1937-1940 Raymond Scantlebury

Overseas Service Adviser (known as 'Assistant Candidates Secretary' up to 1977)
1971-1977 Ronald George Diss; 1977-1980 John Arnold Aldis; 1981- Christopher Paul Colin Hunt

Short-Service Adviser (known as 'Youth Service Abroad Secretary' up to 1978 and Volunteers Secretary 1978-1988):
1972-1975 Miss Lydia Francis Sills; 1976-1980 Miss Elizabeth Marion Hale; 1980- Stuart James Buchanan
AcquisitionDeposited in Special Collections, University of Birmingham, 1989.
Archival NoteCatalogued by Rosemary Keen. Updated by I. Frlan 2009.
Related MaterialMaterial relating to candidates can be found in the records of the CMS General Secretary's Department (CMS/G; CMS/G59), the Medical Department (CMS/M) and the Home Division (CMS/H).

The records of the General Secretary's Department include the records of Islington College 1826-1915, including the minutes of the Committee of Visitors 1843-1915 (CMS/G/ATm 1). There are files on both men and women's training institutions and on the recruitment and training of missionaries (CMS/G/AT). The principal series of minute books are a key source for committee decisions regarding training and individual candidates, both before and since the formation of the Candidates Department (CMS/G/C 1), for example, they incorporate copies of the minutes of the Islington College Visitors Committee 1825-1881 and the Clerical Sub-Committee 1838-1881, as well as minutes of the Committee of Correspondence and its successors; the latter include brief notes on Candidate Committee reports to the Committee of Correspondence and can help to compensate for gaps in the Candidates Department minute books; the minutes can be searched using the contemporary indexes (CMS/G/C 1A). Records of the Clerical Sub-Committee 1873-1909 are located at CMS/G/C 3. Centenary Committee B was appointed by the General Centenary Committee in 1896 to review the work of the Society at home and abroad; its sub-section 9 dealt with the selection and training of candidates (CMS/G/CCb 9). The Review Committee of 1906-1907 had a sectional sub-committee which dealt with candidates and their training (CMS/G/CR 1/2). For minutes and papers of a Special Sub-Committee on Recruiting, Selection and Training of Candidates 1927-1937 see CMS/G/C 23 and for minutes of other sub-committees which include various candidates' matters 1895-1929 see CMS/G/C 26 and CMS/G/CS 3-5. The General Secretary’s Department correspondence series also incorporate the majority of the Society’s earliest correspondence with candidates, including letters to, from, and concerning, those recruited through missionary training institutions in Europe and North America (see CMS/G/AC); see also the overseas correspondence (for example, CMS/G/Y AU).

The records of the Medical Department include minutes and papers of the Medical Board that assessed candidates' fitness for service 1863-1921 (CMS/M/C); minutes of the Medical Training Home Committee 1900-1907 (the governing body for the Bermondsey Home and the Guilford Street Hostel) and brief notes of candidates' medical examinations compiled by the Society's Physician 1890s-1903 (CMS/M/M 1).

Responsibility for the recruitment of missionary candidates has been shared with the Home Division since 1950. Records can be found in the files of the Training Officer (CMS/H/H 11); there are also close links with the Youth Department partly because for some years the Youth Organiser was also Secretary of Companions of the Way, an organisation described as a 'nursery for missionary candidates' (see CMS/H/H 24). Prior to transferring to the Candidates Department in 1971, the post of Overseas Service Adviser was in the Home Division. Publicity material used for recruiting missionaries can be found in the series of CMS printed pamphlets and papers (CMS/H/H 5).


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