Neil Bernard Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains papers, reports and articles relating to:

  • South Africa, including early mission records, material on the Paris Evangelical Society, and the church reponse to events in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Zimbabwe, covering church reactions to events in the country from 1951 to 1979
  • Zambia, including papers on the Livingstonia Mission Provident Fund, and papers on the church in Zambia from 1936 to 1971
  • Malawi, including government reports (1880-1890), papers on the Devlin Commission (1959), and church and mission affairs in Malawi
  • Christianity in Kenya
  • Central African Federation papers
  • Nigeria, including early mission reports, reactions to the Civil War (1967-1971) and material on Ogu Kalu (1974-1975)
  • General material mentioning Latin America, China and Africa
  • Betty Gibson and International Missionary Council, includes material on German missions (1918-1954) and reports and surveys on mission work in Africa (1928-1956)
  • Church of Scotland, with Church and Nation, Staffing and Medical Committee papers (1960-1974)
  • Conference of Missionary Societies, includes committee papers and material on Africa and Christian Literature (1953-1970)
  • British Council of Churches, Christian Aid and Social Change, includes papers and reports on BCC and other Christian Aid projects

Administrative / Biographical History

Neil Cameron Bernard, Church of Scotland missionary in Nigeria and Malawi and Foreign Mission Secretary, was born in Edinburgh on 10 January 1909. After leaving school in 1924, Bernard worked as an accountant for the local stationers, Waterston and Sons, until in 1930 he was appointed a lay missionary to Calabar, Nigeria. He spent four years working in the Calabar book store returning in 1934 to train for the ministry. He studied at the University of Edinburgh and New College from where he received an MA in 1938. He was also student assistant at Dunfermline St John's between 1934 and 1936 and in 1938 spent some time at the University of Tübingen.

Bernard was ordained for foreign mission service in Calabar in 1939, then from 1947 to 1949 he was Men Candidates' Secretary for the Foreign Mission Department of the Church of Scotland. He returned to the field in 1950, being appointed Regional Secretary for Central Africa based at Blantyre, Nyasaland (Malawi) and was also Secretary of the Nyasaland Christian Council between 1952 and 1959. Back in Edinburgh Bernard was Secretary for the Foreign Mission Committee Africa Area from 1960. He retired in 1976 and died on 15 January 1991.

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.

Acquisition Information

Neil Bernard donated the collection to the archive in 1990.

Archivist's Note

Description originally written and researched by Caroline Brown in August 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

No further additions to the collection are expected.

Corporate Names