Calvary Holiness Church

Scope and Content

The CHC Collection is made up of original documents relating to the formation and governance of the denomination during its lifespan (1934-1955). These include:

  • Executive Council Meeting minutes, Articles of Faith, Central Documents of Administration & Finance, Delegates Conference minutes, Documents relating to Local (UK) church's, Documents relating to Overseas Mission, Youth Work & Evangelism, CHC Artefacts, Ephemera & Photographs, plus published copies of The Flame.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Calvary Holiness Church: An outgrowth of itinerant evangelism called 'trekking,' the Calvary Holiness Church was founded in 1934 to conserve the converts of four young British evangelists – Maynard G. James, Jack Ford, Leonard Ravenhill, & Clifford filer – all of whom had worked under the auspices of the International Holiness Mission until tension over willingness to permit 'tongues-speaking' [seen as a gifting of the Holy Spirit] in their services let to separation. The new body stopped short of regarding glossolalia as evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit; however, they remained in all essentials in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition.

Guided by the founders who occupied permanent seats on the Executive Council, the Calvary Holiness Church was intensely evangelistic, concentrating efforts in industrial area in the north of England & Wales. Various projects followed close upon organisation. In 1936 The Flame, a paper started by Maynard James the previous year, became the official organ. The next year it sent its first missionaries to Colombia. In 1947 it established the Beech Lawn Bible College. First located at Uppermill, the school moved to Stalybridge, near Manchester, in 1948. Support of these projects (& missionary outreach in Colombia & Pakistan) taxed the resources of the group, leading the Executive Council into talks with the officials of the Church of the Nazarene. A merger was effected at Manchester on 11th June, 1955. At that time the Calvary Holiness Church consisted of 22 congregations & about 600 members in England & Wales.

Because of a pledge not to 'encourage' tongues-speaking in public services, six ministers refused to unite. Missionary constituencies were released to other agencies, & The Flame again became independent, serving a unique readership drawn from both Holiness & Pentecostal churches.


The original archival arrangement was an artificial arrangement categorised according to subject. However, the collection has now been restored back to an original order in accordance to functional based provenance.

In order to safeguard continuity, the former archival coding has also been preserved.

Access Information

Access is facilitated by appointment.

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Other Finding Aids

In-house Index Catalogue

Custodial History

The bulk of this collection was donated to the Archives by Muriel Ford, after the passing of her husband, Rev Jack Ford.

The collection was