General Purposes Committee minutes

Scope and Content

Minutes, from 1912 until 1931 and then from 1963 to 1970, of the General Purposes Committee. Matters discussed include:

the salary and pension arrangements of administrative staff; nominations to committees and lists of committee members; changes to responsibilities of Secretaries; agreeing schedule of visitations to mission fields and individuals to undertake said visitations; appointments and promotion within the administrative staff; reorganisation of administrative working areas.

From October 1964, when the committee assumes further responsibilities, the following matters are additionally discussed: budgets; Society's income and expenditure; General Fund; missionary training; procedures for selecting candidates; reports from working parties; responsibilities of Officers.

Administrative / Biographical History

The General Purposes Committee was formed in September 1905 when it was separated from the Finance & General Purposes Committee (which had been in existence since September 1884). In 1912, as part of the restructuring of the committees (as well as the general administration) of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society the General Purposes Committee gained the additional responsibilities of the former Staffing Committee. The committee's responsibilities in 1912 included: nominations for, and general arrangements of, all Sectional Committees, the General Committee and the Missionary Council; arrangements for visitations to mission fields; oversight of office and warehouse staff; furlough regulations and arrangements; allocation of duties of Secretaries; arrangements for presentation of business in Wesleyan Methodist Conference.

In 1931 the General Purposes Committee merged with the Finance Committee. The Joint Finance and General Purposes Committee (combined meetings of the Finance & General Purposes Committee with the Women's Work Advisory and Finance Committee) met from 1948 until 1964.

In March 1964 the General Purposes Committee was established as a single entity again with the responsibility 'to discuss major items of general policy in the [Methodist Missionary] Society as a whole' and to meet at least twice a year. Its terms of reference included: examination of budget proposals of the Officers to the General Committee; examination of business proposals for Methodist Conference; matters of Connexional Inter-departmental relationships; education in world affairs of the Home Church; balance of MMS activities, particularly emerging inter-denominational matters; major structural changes; inter-relationships of General Fund & Women's Work activity; appointment of working groups as required.

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Archivist's Note

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Related Material

The minutes of the Finance and General Purpose Committee from 1884 to 1905 are within the minute books of the General Committee (MMS/Home & General/Minutes/FBN 3-5; MMS/Home & General/Minutes/Boxes 1220-1221) as are those extant minutes of the General Purposes Committee from September 1905 until the autumn of 1912 (MMS/Home & General/Minutes/Boxes 1221 &1331-1333).

In October 1931 the General Purposes Committee merged with the Finance Committee and the minutes of that committee are amongst the minute books of the Sectional Committee (MMS/Home & General/Minutes/Box 1380-1383). The minutes of the Joint Finance & General Purposes Committee from April 1948 to September 1952 are also within the minute books of the Sectional Committee (MMS/Home & General/Minutes/Box 1382-1383) with a single volume from April 1953 to March 1964 also available (MMS/Home & General/Minutes/Box 1375).