Colin Forrester-Paton Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains:

  • Material related to the church in Ghana
  • Papers on church, government and society in Ghana
  • Material on church unity in Ghana
  • Papers collected by Jean Forrester-Paton during her work on the Committee on Christian Marriage and Family Life in the Christian Council of Ghana
  • African newspapers collected by the Forrester-Patons

Administrative / Biographical History

Colin Forrester-Paton, Church of Scotland missionary in Ghana, was born on 5 April 1918 at Alloa, Scotland. His family had missionary connections: his uncle Ernest was a missionary in India and his great-aunt Catherine had trained women missionaries in Glasgow. Forrester-Paton was educated in Moffatt and Norfolk then at New College, Oxford University where he graduated 1st class BA Hons in 1940. He attended the United Free Theological College in Edinburgh and then graduated with a B.D. from London University in 1943. In the same year he was married to Jean Lorimer Crichton Miller (1917-1998) who had been working for the Royal Air Force. Between 1943 and 1946 he was secretary of the Student Christian Movement and his contacts with Gold Coast students in Edinburgh at this time led to his interest in missionary work.

Forrester-Paton was ordained by the United Free Presbytery in 1944 and in 1946 left for Ghana with the Church of Scotland. His wife followed in 1947 and they were stationed in Akropong where at first Forrester-Paton taught at the Presbyterian Training College and studied the Twi language, then concentrated on literature work. He did various work for the Presbyterian Church and Christian Council of Ghana involving literature and translation and was especially involved in ecumenical work. The Forrester-Patons also spent periods at Amedzofe and at Sandema in Northern Ghana.

From 1960 Forrester-Paton acted as mission secretary and gave an increasing amount of time to the Accra Ridge Church. Jean Forrester-Paton raised three children and also often took services in schools and colleges and spoke at women's meetings and conferences. Her main work was with the Christian Marriage and Family Life programme of the Christian Council of Ghana. The committee (CCMFL) was set up in 1961 and instigated programmes and provided advice and training on family planning, marriage guidance, sex education and family relationships in general. Jean Forrester-Paton was its secretary from 1961 to 1972 and played a large part in securing the co-operation of the Roman Catholic Church in 1967. The Forrester-Patons left Ghana in 1972 and the following year Forrester-Paton became an associate minister in Hawick. He retired in 1983 but had been appointed Chaplain to HM the Queen in 1981 and was Extra Chaplain in 1988.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers. It is essential to arrange an appointment in advance to view the archive in order that someone can be available to help. Please contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed paper catalogue is available for researchers at the Centre.

Archivist's Note

Description originally written and researched by Caroline Brown in July 2001. This was added to Archives Hub in August 2012 by Louise Williams.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction of materials (for example by digital camera) is free for private research and educational use, although we ask researchers to sign an agreement. Please contact us for enquiries on using the material in a commercial setting, for which there will be a fee. Contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Accruals

We expect to add no further material to the collection.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names