|Description||Memorials submitted to the General Committee by CMS committee members and supporters, including memorials considered by the General Committee prior to the appointment of the Memorials Sub-Committee, dated 1911-1916, With minutes, correspondence, memoranda and other papers concerning the memorials and the Society's doctrinal position. |
Between 1912 and 1922, the Society underwent a period of intense debate concerning divisions of opinion over the Society's stance on issues of evangelical doctrine. The Sub-Committee was appointed by the General Committee 13 November and 11 December 1917 to consider three memorials that had been presented to the Committee and other questions concerning the Society's position on doctrinal issues; it reported back to the General Committee 12 February 1918 although discussion and controversy continued until 1922 (see CMS/G/AX 2-25). The Sub-Committee was initially appointed to consider a memorial from the Bishop of Chelmsford November 1917. The memorial came from clergy, mostly members of the Group Brotherhood. It requested the CMS make three affirmations: first, that it 'accepts the services of all who are attracted by its tradition and who [are] striving to interpret evangelical truth in accordance with the Holy Spirit's guidance in each succeeding age'; second, that it 'works in co-operation with other communions, and welcomes fellowship with societies representing other schools of throught within the Anglican Communion'; third, 'that the Society's position with regard to revelation and inspiration is defined for it simply by the formularies of the Church of England; and that no further restriction or definition of belief' was required from its candidates, agents or supporters. Two further memorials were then referred to the Sub-Committee: Rev[erend] D. H. C. Bartlett's memorial of December 1917 requested CMS to keep to strict evangelical principles and was concerned over use of the 'eastward position' in Holy Communion; the Laymen's memorial was submitted by 63 laymen who deprecated the Chelmsford memorial (sources: Hewitt's 'The Problems of Success', volume 1, and the records).