Council for World Mission

Scope and Content

Papers of the Council for World Mission from its creation in 1977.

Administrative / Biographical History

See collection level description for a full overview of the organisation's history.

The Council for World Mission (CWM) is a worldwide partnership of Christian churches. The 32 members are committed to sharing their resources of money, people, skills and insights globally to carry out God's mission locally. CWM was created in 1977 and incorporates the London Missionary Society (1795), the Commonwealth Missionary Society (1836) and the (English) Presbyterian Board of Missions (1847).

The Council for World Mission (CWM) works in 6 regions across the world. Member churches are located in the Caribbean, Pacific, East Asia, Europe, South Asia and Africa and include: (Caribbean region) Guyana Congregational Union, United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands; (Pacific region) Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa, Congregational Christian Church in Samoa, Congregational Union of New Zealand, Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, Kiribati Uniting Church, Nauru Congregational Church, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, United Church in Papua New Guinea, United Church in Solomon Islands, Maohi Protestant Church; (East Asia region) Gereja Presbyterian Malaysia, Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China, Presbyterian Church in Singapore, Presbyterian Church of Korea, Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, Presbyterian Church in Taiwan; (Europe region) Congregational Federation, Presbyterian Church of Wales, Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Union of Welsh Independents, United Reformed Church; (South Asia region) Church of Bangladesh, Church of North India, Church of South India, Presbyterian Church of India; (Africa region) Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, Churches of Christ in Malawi, United Church of Zambia, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, and Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa. Many of the member churches have historic connections with CWM through the London Missionary Society, Presbyterian Church of England Missionary Society and the mission work of the Churches of Christ.

Amongst the range of work undertaken by CWM is the sharing of mission personnel between member churches. These 'Partners in Mission' are involved in a variety of activities such as theological education, pastoral ministry, medical and healthcare, activities involved in the counselling and care of HIV/AIDS victims, project administration and community work. CWM also runs a range of empowerment and training programmes and facilitates missiological research. It resources member churches and ecumenical projects with people, funding and ideas, to develop innovative mission programmes.


Records have been arranged by broad organisational functions and areas of activity. Codes used in CWM's records management programme prior to transfer to the archive have been indicated in the 'Former Reference' field. There are some gaps in the overall sequence where future accuals are expected but have not yet been transferred to the archive.

Access Information

Restrictions apply to minutes, which are subject to a 30 year closure period to protect confidentiality; researchers are then required to sign a Data Protection declaration form in relation to personal data which may be contained in the records.

Restrictions Apply

Acquisition Information

Papers transferred to SOAS Library in 2011 and 2012.

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Copyright held by Council for World Mission unless otherwise indicated.

Custodial History

Papers were created by the Council for World Mission and retained at the organisation's London offices before being transferred to SOAS Library.


Further accruals to the archive are expected on a 10-yearly cycle as records become open to researchers.

Related Material

The records of the Council for World Mission's predecessor bodies, the London Missionary Society (CWM/LMS), the Commonwealth Missionary Society (CWM/CMS) and the English Presbyterian Mission (PCE), are also held at SOAS Library.

In some cases, records found in the Council for World Mission archive are a continuation of those begun in the London Missionary Society archive, for example the personnel records of missionaries whose service spanned the transition from the London Missionary Society to the Council for World Mission. In these cases it will be necessary to cross-refer between the papers of both parts of the collection.