Minute books of the Nottingham Auxiliary of the London Missionary Society, the Presbytery of Nottingham, and the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union, 1894-1972

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of volumes of minutes. Three of the volumes concern the regional administration of the Congregational and Presbyterian churches prior to the formation of the United Reformed Church. The remainder concern the Nottingham Auxiliary of the London Missionary Society and its successors:

Minutes of the Presbytery of Nottingham, 1944-1972 (NLM/1);

Minutes of the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union, Northern Division (concerning churches in Mansfield, Retford, Selston, Sutton, Westwood, Worksop and Shirebrook), 1961-1972 (NLM/2);

Minutes of the Nottingham Auxiliary of the London Missionary Society and its successors, including programmes for its anniversary meetings, 1894-1972 (NLM/3);

Trusts and Investments book, probably of the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union, Northern Division, 1948-1969 (NLM/4);

Correspondence of the general secretary of the Auxiliary concerning a memorial plaque to David Livingstone, the missionary and explorer, at Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, 1949-1950 (NLM 5).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church in England and Wales merged in 1972 to form the United Reformed Church. The two churches each had tiers of regional organisation. In the East Midlands, the Presbyterian churches were arranged into the Presbytery of Nottingham, while the Congregational Churches were arranged into divisions of the Congregational Union. These organisations were dissolved in 1972 under the provisions of the United Reformed Church Act.

The London Missionary Society was founded by the leaders of the Independent, Anglican and Presbyterian Churches in 1795 (although its name was first used in 1818). The society's missionaries promoted Christianity to communities in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. The Congregational Church provided the vast majority of missionaries and financial support for the Society's activities. In 1966, the London Missionary Society combined with the Commonwealth Missionary Society to form the Congregational Council for World Mission. It was inaugurated as the Council for World Mission in 1977. The London Missionary Society was supported by hundreds of Congregational churches arranged into auxiliaries that were set up in towns and cities.

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Auxiliary (as it was first known) was probably set up in 1894. Meetings were held at the Castle Gate Congregational church or lecture hall in Nottingham. Its function, as stated in 1951, was 'to stimulate interest in the work of the L.M.S. in the churches within the Auxiliary, to arrange central events for this purpose, and to be the governing body in the business affairs of the Auxiliary'. Amongst its many prayer and business meetings, the auxiliary held an anniversary meeting each year. The auxiliary brought together the clergy, congregations, and representatives of Sunday Schools, youth groups, women's groups and prayer unions from most of the town's Congregational churches.

The auxiliary was later renamed the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union County Missionary Sub-Committee and the Overseas Committee of the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union. Following the merger in 1972 of the English Presbyterian and the Congregational Churches to form the United Reformed Church, local missionary work was organised by a sub-committee of the URC District Church Council.


The collection has been divided by document type into series. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers by appointment.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts in January 1985.

Related Material

At The University of Nottingham: Minutes of the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union, 1871-1968 (CU/M 3); yearbooks, 1870-1951 and 1950-1963 (CU/V 2/1-14); and scrapbook, 1870-1920 (CU/S 2); Nottinghamshire Congregational Union newsletters, mid-20th century (Fy P 4/2)

Central records of the London Missionary Society are held within The Council for World Mission archive at the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Derbyshire Record Office holds minutes of the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union, 1931-1948 (D4937/8)

Nottinghamshire Archives hold various archival records of the Nottinghamshire Congregational Union, 1913-1995; and also minutes of the Presbytery of Nottingham, 1919-1929, 1929-1937 and 1937-1972 (NC/IR16/1-4)

Geographical Names