|Administrative History||In July 1895 the CMS General Committee approved the formation of a department at Headquarters which was to be in touch with all women's work connected with the Society. The department had two sections, one for work overseas and one for work in the UK, each with its own Ladies' Consultative Committee of voluntary lady workers: the Ladies' Consultative Committee (Home Side) was appointed by the Funds and Home Organisation Committee and the Ladies' Consultative Committee (Foreign) was appointed by the Committee of Correspondence (predecessor to the Foreign Committee). It was intended not to replace existing structures and lines of responsibility, nor to segregate women's and men's work, but to provide additional support and encouragement to single women, missionary wives and women's work. It worked closely with other administrative departments. Source: CMS Intelligencer, December 1895, pp 947-948.|
On the Foreign side the work began as personal correspondence with, and counselling of, women missionaries, including 'friendly correspondence' during the missionaries' home leave; it developed into a source of general advice on women's work overseas. A Women's Committee (Foreign) was appointed 12 March 1912; it began by communicating its decisions through the Foreign Secretary to the Group Committees, but from the time of the 1914-1918 War, three of its members participated more directly, attending the meetings and the Group Committees as advisers. From 1926/1927 the Departmental Secretary for Women's Work (Foreign) became a full Secretary of the Society's Foreign Department.
Within the British Isles the aim was to raise support from women for all aspects of missionary work. The Women's Committee (Home) was appointed 27 September 1910 to 'assist the Funds and Home Organisation Committee in developing the general work of women for the CMS' (source: CM Review, December 1912, p 719). There were conferences and meetings and women correspondents were appointed throughout the country who were attached to the new diocesan and archidiaconal associations and whose task was to arouse interest and support. A special effort was made to reach older, educated girls and, in 1902, the Girls Movement was started; the Movement had its 'Own Missionary' and took on Egypt as its 'Own Mission' (Source: Eugene Stock's History of the CMS, volume IV, p 521); publications included 'Terminal Letters' 1896-1923, 'Seed Time' 1899-1907 and 'Girls Movement notes' 1924-1928. The work of the Women's Department in the British Isles had always been under the guidance of the Central [Home] Secretary as Chairman of the Ladies (Home) Consultative Committee; in 1927 the Departmental Secretary for Women's Work (Home) became an Assistant Home Secretary with special responsibility for women's work. In 1949, after the retirement of Mrs E. L. Handley, the work was transferred to the Assistant Home Secretary, Miss Jean Lawrence, who was also responsible for raising support within the British Isles for medical mission work.
Women's Department Secretary:
July 1895-1900 Miss Georgina A. Gollock;
1900-1905 Miss Georgina A. Gollock and Miss Minna C. Gollock (as joint secretaries);
July 1905-1914 Miss Minna C. Gollock (as 'Assistant Secretary for Women's Work')
Departmental Secretary for Women's Work (Foreign):
March 1915-December 1925 Mrs Elaine Thornton (January 1926-December 1933 continued as Foreign Secretary)
September 1942-1964 Miss Agnes Robina (Ena) Price; September 1964- Miss Mollie A. J. Kluht
Departmental Secretary for Women's Work (Home):
March 1915-December 1925 Miss V. H. Thorold; January 1926-May 1927 Miss K. Whitmore (Assistant Home Secretary (Women's Work) 1927-)
Assistant Home Secretary (Women's Work):
May 1927- August 1940 Miss K. Whitmore; March 1944-1949 Mrs E. L. Handley
Source: Rosemary Keen 'Catalogue of the Papers of the Women's Department'.
|Custodial History||The papers listed in this section were received from Miss Price, Woman Secretary 1942-1964 and Women's Candidate Secretary 1936-1946.|