Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)MAM
TitlePapers of the Mid-Africa Ministry
Extent20 boxes
DescriptionPapers of the Mid-Africa Ministry (MAM) comprising: administrative correspondence and papers 1926-1949 including correspondence between the General Secretary and individual missionaries and staff 1936-1949; minutes of the Ruanda Council 1926-1940 and notes on agendas 1934-1950; correspondence with and from the field 1917-1952 including correspondence between the Field Secretary and Home Council, with the Church Missionary Society, with the Bishop of Uganda and with individual missionaries; copies of its periodicals, newsletters and other serial publications 1920-2009; books and pamphlets published by MAM or written by its missionaries; MAM publicity and other literature and other related printed and published material not produced by MAM.
ArrangementThe collection forms part of the wider Church Missionary Society Archive. It is held as a discrete collection with papers arranged in four series: Administration (A), Committee work (C) (this series of records are not held by Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections); Correspondence (Y) and Education (E)
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered readers. Some of this collection is currently held by CMS, Oxford. Please contact staff at Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections in advance of your visit to ensure that the items in which you are interested are available (email:
Finding AidsA paper catalogue of the collection is available in Cadbury Research Library and at the National Register of Archives in London
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryThe Mid-Africa Ministry, originally named Ruanda Mission (CMS), began as part of the Church Missionary Society and its two pioneer missionaries worked for CMS before going to Ruanda. Dr Leonard Sharp and Dr A. C. Stanley Smith were convinced of God's call to work in Ruanda and offered to CMS for that work. They were sent at first to Mengo Hospital in Uganda, but in December 1916 made an exploratory visit to Ruanda. In 1917, the CMS Uganda missionary committee received an appeal for medical help from Ruandans in Ruanda and Kigezi. The CMS Committee in London were unable to agree to this expansion of work because of the lack of funds, but the two doctors began to raise funds independently and by 1919 were able to guarantee support both for four years' work and for a hospital. There were some remaining difficulties over staffing and finally the Kigezi district of South West Uganda was suggested and agreed as a place to start rather than beginning in Ruanda itself. In 1920, the CMS Committee in London accepted the doctors' offer, the work to be accountable to their Uganda missionary committee.

In the early days support was given and organised by 'Friends of Ruanda', but in 1926 the Ruanda Council was formed as a CMS committee in charge of the administration of the work. In 1929 it took full financial responsibility for the mission although it was not separated from the CMS mission in Uganda until 1933.

The main places of work are Gahini (1928), Shyira and Kigeme (1932) in Ruanda; Kabale (1921) and Bunyoni (1931) in Uganda; Matana and Buhiga (1935) and Buye [Ibuye] (1936) in Burundi. Other places where MAM Mission partners have worked include: Ruanda: Butare (Astrida), Kigali, Nyamata, Shyogwe; Uganda: Budo, Bwana, Bwerinyangi, Gayaza, Kabarole, Kisiizi, Mengo, Ndeje, Remera, Rugarama, Rukingiri; Burundi: Bujumbura, Gitega, Kibimba, Kivimba, Muyebe, Nyankanda and Vugizo (overlooking Bujumbura)and in Tanzania: Bugufi.

The first central office of the Mid-Africa Ministry, which opened in 1932, was at 4 Aldermanbury Avenue. These premises were bombed in 1940 and for the duration of the war its staff operated from home. From 1946 until 1956, it was based at 42 St Peter's Road, Croydon, from 1956-1960 at 7 Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, London and from 1960 until 1972 at St Mark's Church, Kennington. In 1973 it began to operate from 157 Waterloo Road, London and formally integrated with Church Mission Society in February 2002.

Chairman of Council:
1926-1933 Rev Earle Legh Langston; 1934-1937 Canon Alfred St. John Thorpe; Sep 1937-1947 Dec Canon Stephen Mortimer Warner; Jan 1948-1960 Dec Rev Leslie Francis Edward Wilkinson

General Secretary (Organising Secretary 1951-1956):
1927-1931 Rev Harold Earnshaw-Smith; 1932-1949 Feb Reginald Rutland Webster; Mar 1949-1962 Rev Bryan Raymund Isaac (acting 1949-1951)

Honorary Treasurer:
1924-1926 Mrs MacDonald; 1926-1949 Feb Reginald Rutland Webster; Mar 1949-1951 Rev T. Gregory Smith (acting); 1952-1979 Harold W. Ballard

Assistant Secretary (Accounts)(Accounts Assistant 1992-)
1949-1952 Miss K. M. Lucas; 1952-1956 Miss M. McNelly; 1956-1961 Lena Rowe

Editorial Secretary (Publications Secretary 1985-1993; Publications Editor 1994- ):
1924-1926 Mrs MacDonald; 1926-1946 Miss Edith Theodora Hill (Kiru); 1946-1972 Winifred Mary Cox

Deputation Secretary (1946-):
1946-1949 Rev Bryan Raymund Isaac; 1953-1956 Miss Margaret I. Lloyd; 1956-1968 Frederick John Barff

Stamp bureau (the selling of stamps began August 1939):
1939-1942 Miss Edith Theodora Hill (Kiru); Sep 1943-1948 Aug Capt. Plomer, Worthing, Sussex; 1951-1965 H. L. Darnell, Chorley Wood, Herts.

Assistant Secretary (Parcels, 1938; Despatch and parcels, 1946; Despatch, 1955; General (deputation, parcels and despatch) 1956):
Work from 1928-1932 dealt with small sums, enquiries, patterns for garments wanted for hospitals and girls' school.

1932 Miss Edith Theodora Hill (Kiru); 1933-1945 Mrs Wilkinson; 1945-1955 Miss Margaret I. Lloyd; 1955-1962 Miss M. Cummins; 1957-1965 Miss Betty Ponsford

Ruanda Mission Secretary (CMS Representative 1965):
1933-1939 Archdeacon W. Arthur Pitt-Pitts; 1940-1948 Dr Algernon C. Stanley Smith; 1949-1964 Dr Godfrey Talbot Hindley

Diocese of Uganda:
1912-1934 Bishop John Jamieson Willis; 1934-1952 Bishop Cyril Edgar Stuart; 1953-1960 Bishop Leslie Wilfred Brown

Source: Catalogue of the papers of the Mid Africa Ministry by Rosemary A. Keen, 1999
AcquisitionFollowing a long-term contract made between the Church Mission Society and the University of Birmingham for the gradual transfer on permanent loan of the Church Missionary Society Archive, the first transfer of records from CMS headquarters (then in London) took place in 1979-1980. The Records of the Mid-Africa Ministry were deposited by the Church Mission Society as part of the Church Missionary Society Archive in 1999.
Related MaterialInformation about the founding and early history of the mission for the 1920s period will also be found in the official archive of the Church Missionary Society (GB 0150 CMS). For example, the printed Proceedings of the CMS list the mission stations and the missionaries; incoming and outgoing correspondence can be found in the records of the Uganda Mission 1916-1932 (CMS/B/OMS/G3 A7) and under 'Ruanda Mission' after 1933 (CMS/B/OMS/G3 A11) and the Annual Letters of MAM missionaries are in the CMS archives (CMS/B/OMS G3 AL).
Associated MaterialsThe Crowther Mission Studies Library, CMS, Oxford holds copies of the magazines ‘Ruanda Notes’ 1920-1971, ‘Partners Together’ 1971-1998, 'Mid-Africa News’ 1999-2002 and Junior Ruanda Notes, issues 1-5. The periodicals held in Oxford have been digitally published and are available online through the website of Adam Matthew Digital. They are published under the title ‘Church Missionary Society Periodicals’, Module I: Global Missions and Contemporary Encounters. A link to this Adam Matthew product is given in the URL field below. The digitized copies are available to members of, and visitors to, the University of Birmingham and other subscribing institutions. All visitors who have registered for a Cadbury Research Library Reader ticket can access the online copies on the public access computers in the Cadbury Research Library Reading Room. Staff and students of the University of Birmingham may also access the products when off campus through the University’s eResources (log in through FindIt@Bham). For institutions that do not currently subscribe to this Adam Matthew Digital product, further information about trial access is available at: