Missionary personnel files

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the process of organising and managing long-term and short-term missionary service appointments. Personnel files were set up for each individual at the time of appointment and originally contained everything relating to their appointment and the administration and support of their post, including applications, service contracts, correspondence, reports, medical records, travel details, salary and pension details, etc. Files have subsequently been weeded to remove routine administrative and financial papers and private medical records.

Missionary personnel files largely date from the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the practice of creating a single file per missionary seems to have become standard practice. Prior to this a number of separate files were maintained for each missionary, including their candidates' papers, medical files, correspondence, reports and a 'finance' file, containing records relating to salary payments, allowances, tax, pensions, etc. Medical files and finance files have not been retained. Candidates' papers, correspondence and reports for the period preceding the creation of CWM (i.e. pre-1977) can be found in the London Missionary Society archive. In some cases, the service of an individual missionary began with the London Missionary Society and continued with the Council for World Mission, and records will need to be located in both archives.


Files are organised alphabetically by individual missionary.

Access Information

All missionary personnel files are closed for the lifetime of the individual in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. Only those files belonging to deceased missionaries have therefore been transferred to the archive at SOAS. Personnel files for those missionaries still living are held by the Council for World Mission until they can be made available to the public for research, and will be transferred as part of future accruals to the archive.


Archivist's Note