|Description||Signed minutes, reports, papers and correspondence of Centenary Committee B and its sectional sub-committees, largely dated 1896-1901 including a printed report, dated 1899, with a detailed subject index that illustrates the range of topics addressed (see CMS/G/CCb 15).|
Each section's records broadly comprise minutes, reports, correspondence and papers. The minutes have a list of sub-committee members and a brief index at the front of each volume, and generally have printed or typescript copies of the Section's questions, report(s) and miscellaneous other committee papers pasted in. The papers include lists of those to whom questions were sent, and from whom replies were received; copies of the questions sent out to participants and their answers (some with tables of statistics); sectional reports, most with draft and ad interim versions. The answers to questions are individually numbered, and either listed by name of respondent at the front of the file, or have filing notes attached giving the number, mission, name of respondent and cross references to entries in precis books or the sectional sub-committee minute book (including references to interviews where the respondent met with the sub-committee in person); they incorporate incoming papers from the overseas (mission) series annotated with the original filing number; this is indicated at file level.
|Administrative History||The work of Centenary Committee B was initially divided into 12 sections, and each section assigned to a sub-committee, to consider: |
I 'The staff of Workers in the field, European and Native, employed in connexion with the Society either directly or indirectly; their efficiency in the light of the various hindrances against which they have to contend; the use made of opportunities of conference, united prayer and mutual helpfulness.'
II 'The varieties of methods of work pursued, with special reference to the characteristics of Mohammedanism, Buddhism etc.; and to the value of educational, industrial, medical and other branches of the work [including women's work]. The extent to which existing work is undermanned and extensions of work needed'
III 'The adequacy or otherwise of the Supply of Scriptures and other books in the Vernacular'
IV 'The communities of Native Christians; as to discipline and measures to promote spiritual life; and as to self-government, self-support, and self-extension among them; particular attention being given to the relations of the Society with the bodies of Native Christians who have attained to more or less independence'
V 'The Foreign Administration of the Society, including the various kinds of local governing bodies, the business transactions as to estimates, accounts, property, buildings, and also house accommodation and health precautions'
VI 'The relations of the Society and its Missions to the Church; to other societies; to other Christian bodies'
VII 'The Home Administration of the Society; including the system of Committees and Sub-Committees; accounts; with such of the expenditure on behalf of the Missions as is undertaken at home'
VIII 'The Society's Laws and Regulations'
IX 'The selection and training of Candidates'
X 'The treatment of missionaries and of their children when in England'
XI 'The Records and Publications of the Society'
XII 'The Home organisation of the Society and the Deputation Arrangements, as bearing upon the securing of men and means for the work, not forgetting the auxiliaries established or needed in the Colonies'
Due to the prominence of devolution and decentralisation at the Centenary Committee's first annual meeting, June 1897, Sectional Sub-Committee XIII was formed to address these issues in the Society's foreign missions. The report and papers of Sub-Committee V were subsequently handed over to the new sub-committee. Section VIII reverted to a sub-committee of the General Committee.
The sectional sub-committees used a variety of methods to gather information, including sending questions out in the form of printed circulars, conducting face to face interviews (some during committee meetings) and compiling relevant paperwork. The majority of respondents were missionaries including those overseas and those then in England, but questions were also addressed to Association Secretaries, [overseas] local governing bodies and selected CMS Secretaries, Home staff, related organisations and others. Each Section prepared reports for Centenary Committee B which were subsequently revised for use by the General Committee and other CMS committees.