Nottingham Auxiliary of the London Missionary Society
The London Missionary Society was founded by the leaders of the Independent, Anglican and Presbyterian Churches in 1795 (although its name was first used in 1818). The society's missionaries promoted Christianity to communities in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. The Congregational Church provided the vast majority of missionaries and financial support for the Society's activities. In 1966, the London Missionary Society combined with the Commonwealth Missionary Society to form the Congregational Council for World Mission. It was inaugurated as the Council for World Mission in 1977. The London Missionary Society was supported by hundreds of Congregational churches arranged into auxiliaries that were set up in towns and cities.
The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Auxiliary (as it was first known) was probably set up in 1894. Meetings were held at the Castle Gate Congregational church or lecture hall in Nottingham. Its function, as stated in 1951, was 'to stimulate interest in the work of the L.M.S. in the churches within the Auxiliary, to arrange central events for this purpose, and to be the governing body in the business affairs of the Auxiliary'. Amongst its many prayer and business meetings, the auxiliary held an anniversary meeting each year. The auxiliary brought together the clergy, congregations, and representatives of Sunday Schools, youth groups, women's groups and prayer unions from most of the town's Congregational churches. The auxiliary was later renamed the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union County Missionary Sub-Committee and the Overseas Committee of the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union.
The Committee was abolished in 1972 when most of the English Congregational churches merged with the Presbyterians to form the United Reformed Church. After 1972, local missionary work was organised by a sub-committee of the URC District Church Council.
There are two items relating to the Nottingham Auxiliary held at The University of Nottingham:
- Minutes of the Nottingham Auxiliary of the London Missionary Society and its successors, including programmes for its anniversary meetings, 1894-1972 (NLM/3)
- Correspondence of the general secretary of the Auxiliary concerning a memorial plaque to David Livingstone, the missionary and explorer, at Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, 1949-1950 (NLM 5)
Central records of the London Missionary Society are part of the The Council for World Mission archive held by the Archives and Manuscripts section of the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
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