Papers of Morris Gelsthorpe

Scope and Content

This collection comprises official and personal papers of Alfred Morris Gelsthorpe which includes correspondence, copy minutes and other papers as assistant bishop and bishop in the Sudan concerning the interrelationship between CMS, its missionaries and the local church. It also includes a typescript biography, his own recollections and other miscellaneous letters and papers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alfred Morris Gelsthorpe (1892-1968) was educated at Hatfield College, Durham. He was ordained as deacon in 1919 and priest in 1920 and became curate of St Gabriel's, Bishop Wearmouth, 1919-1923. He was accepted as a CMS missionary in 1923 and served at Akwa in Eastern Nigeria, becoming Principal of the CMS Akwa Training College in 1928 until 1932. In 1933, he was consecrated as Assistant Bishop to the Bishop on the Niger and in 1938 was appointed as Assistant Bishop to the Bishop in Egypt and the Sudan, Bishop Gwynne. In 1945, when Sudan was created a separate diocese, he became Bishop in the Sudan where he remained until his resignation in 1952. He returned to England where he was rector of Bingham, 1953-1963 and Assistant Bishop of Southwark.

Reference: Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1963-1964 .


This collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into two series: Official Papers and Miscellaneous Papers.

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the CMS in July 1973; transferred on permanent loan to the Special Collections Department by the CMS in the 1980s.

Other Finding Aids

Please see online catalogue for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

The Special Collections Department holds the Church Missionary Society Archive, the official archive of the society (GB 150 CMS), which includes papers relating to Gelsthorpe's service as a CMS missionary and activities as assistant bishop and bishop.

The University of Birmingham, Special Collections Department and the Orchard Learning Resources Centre hold a rich collection of archives relating to missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals.