Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/C/Y
TitleCorrespondence with CMS organisations overseas
Extent58 files
Date1892-c 1939
DescriptionCorrespondence and papers sent to, and received from, CMS branches in the West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Canada; with associated memoranda, newspaper cuttings and journal extracts. Primarily comprising incoming correspondence from the overseas Secretaries 1892-1938, and office copies of letters sent out from the Candidates Secretary 1913-1938. The incoming despatches also include some in-house (Candidates Department) memoranda, correspondence and process notes concerning the acceptance of individual candidates recruited through the overseas organisations.

This series provides a valuable source of information on candidates who were recruited overseas to work in CMS missions. The incoming despatches include candidates' papers (mostly in the form of copies) not held elsewhere in the records as well as on-going correspondence concerning the recruitment, selection, training, location and support of candidates and missionaries with numerous references to named individuals. The papers also include printed annual reports which list missionaries recruited and supported through the Associations and refer to their work in the field.

The records are variously annotated in red ink, pen or pencil with filing notes that include name of correspondent, topic, date of receipt and reply, and file series. There is overlap with items from the CMS overseas (mission) series: some of the letters and papers here are copies of originals retained in the CMS mission papers, others are simply annotated with cross references to material in the overseas (mission) series; the files also hold original letters belonging to the overseas series annotated in red ink with both their number in the current series and their number in the missions series. By contrast, there are some letters from the mission papers that are cross referenced and filed with those series rather than at CMS/C/Y. Where such overlaps exist, this is indicated in the file level record; mission reference numbers have been explained and expanded to give the full finding number for ease of searching.

[The candidates listed in this series are not entered in the Candidate Registers although those who were successful in their application are included in the CMS Missionary Registers and annual lists of missionaries in the published Annual Reports].
Access ConditionsAs Y2 and Y3 contain more recent material they have been retained by the CMS and are not currently available for research.
Access StatusPartially closed
Administrative HistoryCMS associations were established by clerical and lay members of the Church of England in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Canada in the 1890s. A deputation to Australasia by Dr Eugene Stock and Reverend R. W. Stewart of the CMS in 1892 provided the impetus for the formation of the Australasian associations. Their primary aim was to send missionaries overseas to work in CMS missions and elsewhere. Although autonomous, they worked closely as partners or 'in connection with' the CMS Parent Society. The associations and their successor organisations acted on behalf of the CMS, recruiting, selecting and, in the case of Australia and Canada, training candidates from their home area. They continued to provide financial support once the missionaries began work overseas but, once in the field, the recruits worked under the governance of the CMS overseas missions. In the early years all candidates were formally approved by the CMS before being accepted; the CMS also determined where overseas recruits were located. The West Indies Church Missionary Association, 1897-1912, was founded to recruit West Indian candidates to work in connection with the CMS in West Africa; it was funded by the CMS Parent Society. Source: the printed annual reports of the associations (CMS/C Y) and 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.
Archival NoteThis material was first catalogued in the 1960s before the papers of many of the Associations had been found; although not ideal, the arrangement of the papers at the time of first cataloguing has been retained as the material has already been used extensively.
Related MaterialThere is a list of missionaries from the New South Wales, Victoria, Canada and New Zealand Associations in Eugene Stock's Centenary Volume of the CMS, 1902.