Collection of the Rt. Rev. Stanley Booth-Clibborn (1924-1996)

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of:

  • 1 box of circa 20 glass plate negatives of the All Africa Youth Conference, 1960s, village elders, and the Limuru Conference Centre, Kenya
  • 1 file of circa 60 letters relating to the Nigeria / Biafra war, 1969-1970
  • 1 file of correspondence and printed matter relating to the National Council of Churches of Kenya, and NCCK Partners election observation work in Kenya, 1990s
  • Material relating to Namibia and work in support of the churches, pre-election registration, and the country's independence, 1980s-1990s
  • circa 60 black and white photographs featuring Christian work in Kenya in the 1960s and including photographs of Jomo Kenyatta and Julius Nyerere
  • circa 60 colour and black and white photographs of election monitoring in Namibia, and Namibian independence day, 1989 and 1990
  • circa 80 issues of the Christian newspaper from Kenya, Target
  • 1 bound volume of some issues of a similar title, Rock
  • 1 bound volume of Assembly Target
  • a few issues of the Kiswahili Christian newspaper Lengo
There are also some copies of Torch a target educational supplement and a Community relations newsletter.

The issues of Target cover the periods mid-1960s to 1970s.

The issues of Assembly Target cover the period Nov-Dec 1975.

The issues of Rock cover the period January 1958-April 1964, with a loose insertion for the date November 1957 (Number 1).

The issues of Lengo cover the period Feb 1976-May 1977.

Some of the black and white photographs (many taken by Stefan Hoerttrich) are mounted on board and feature images on either side. The photographs feature:

  • Jomo Kenyatta and Julius Nyerere, 1961
  • Julius Nyerere at Nairobi Rally
  • Jomo Kenyatta soon after release from prison, Rally in Nairobi
  • Nairobi Uhuru (Freedom) Rally being addressed by a 'Prison graduate'
  • Booth-Clibborn at Limuru Conference Centre, and several other photographs at the Centre
  • Planning Committee of the All Africa Christian Youth Assembly, Kenya 1962
  • All Africa Youth Assembly, Nairobi 1962
  • Rev. John Mpaaya, Bible Society
  • Meeting of the Christian Council of Kenya
  • Young ladies of the Kenya YWCA
  • Famine relief among Meru tribesmen
  • VSO worker with children at Eastleigh Community Centre, and at the Christian Industrial Training Centre
  • Old people receiving a good meal at a Christian Centre
  • Headmaster of Alliance High School, Kenya
  • Opening of St. John's Old People's Home, Pumwani
  • United service of witness on Whitsunday, Nairobi 1961
  • Kikuyu boys at an emergency village
  • Members of the African Israel Church dancing on way to worship
  • Children being helped by a food and milk scheme
  • East African newspaper, Lengo
  • Dispatching the newspaper Target
  • School students in Kenya
  • Kenyan village life
  • Nairobi shanty life
  • Mt. Kenya

Many of the letters in the collection are from prominent British politicians of the period.

Administrative / Biographical History

Stanley Eric Francis Booth-Clibborn, Church Missionary Society missionary in Kenya and Bishop of Manchester, was born on 20 October 1924 into the family that founded the Salvation Army. Throughout his life he sought to combine his belief in Christianity with the promotion of social justice and the support of the poor and oppressed. He spent four years in the army, including two in India, then went to Oriel College, Oxford graduating BA (1951) and MA (1956). In 1950 he had studied at Westcott House in Cambridge and in 1952 he was ordained a deacon and a year later a priest. His first posts as a curate were in Sheffield (1952-56) but he was then accepted as a missionary to Kenya.

Booth-Clibborn arrived in Africa in 1956 where he was to have varied ecumenical responsibilities included editing Rock and Target, influential church newspapers in East Africa. He was especially concerned to promote church unity and the development of the African church leadership during the political upheaval around the time of the Mau Mau rebellion.

On returning to England in 1967 Booth-Clibborn became a minister in Lincoln but was also involved with the International Affairs Department of the British Council of Churches, and his wife Anne (nee Forrester) was Vice-Chair of Christian Aid for a time. He then moved to Cambridge in 1970 spending 9 years at St Mary the Great. From 1979 he was Bishop of Manchester and regarded with great affection and respect even by those who disagreed with his with his views, he was, for example, a strong supporter of women's ordination. He retired in 1992 and went, with his wife, to live in Edinburgh. His interest in Africa had continued and the Booth-Clibborns were invited by the National Council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK), in co-operation with Christian Aid, to monitor the 1992 Kenyan elections. The Rt. Rev. Stanley Booth-Clibborn died on 6 March 1996.

Access Information

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

We strongly encourage you to contact us before your visit as special access conditions and restrictions apply to some collections. Please see our information on requesting material


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using (1) an obituary in The Guardian that appeared shortly after Booth-Clibborn's death and (2) the entry in Crockford's Clerical Directory. London, 1995-1996 edition.

Other Finding Aids

None prepared.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections

Related Material

Coll-617 containingPapers of Stanley Booth-Clibborn (1924-1996) is located at Edinburgh University, Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World (Thomas Chalmers House, 16 North Bank Street). It is a small collection of two files.

Family Names

Geographical Names