The policy of the Church Missionary Society concerning the development of self-governing indigenous churches 1900-1942
This study examines the leadership and administration of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) between 1900 and 1942. It concentrates on the particular policy issue of' self-governing, indigenous Churches', building on the work done by Peter Williams on this policy in the CMS during the 19th century. It begins with an analysis of the way the CMS worked as an organisation in Britain throughout the period. This includes the contribution to the leadership of the CMS from both supporters and staff, along with a discussion of the change in the role of women with the society. The main voices heard in this study are those of the leadership of the CMS in Britain, particularly the full time 'Secretaries'. The tension between being an 'evangelical' society and being an 'Anglican' society runs through the whole period, but was particularly marked in 1922 when a split occurred within the CMS. The policy at the start of the period is examined through a detailed discussion of a Memorandum on 'native' Churches produced in 1901, which committed the CMS to work exclusively to produce Churches that would be part of the Anglican Communion. A study of the way the CMS Missions around the world were governed, and how they related to the Churches they had helped found, reveals that until 1922 very little progress was made in producing Churches that were not governed by the CMS. A study of another Memorandum in 1909 shows that the Secretaries at this time were trying to keep a significant degree of control over CMS, rather than being proactive in developing the leadership structures for the new Churches. In the 1920s and 1930s much more rapid progress was made in India and China, but not in Africa. This caused significant concern within the CMS leadership in Britain, that in the process' evangelical principles' were not being safeguarded. From 1926-1942 the CMS was led by W.W. Cash. His background, theology and attitudes are examined in some detail. During the whole period, very little progress was made in producing indigenous bishops, in any of the areas in which CMS worked. The CMS had some influence over the appointment of bishops in its Mission areas. The actual degree of influence is examined. The CMS only started encouraging the appointment ofloca1 people as diocesan bishops in the late 1930s, in India and China, and always opposed their appointment in Africa. The reasons behind this policy, and how it changed over time, are also explored. By the end of the period some significant steps had been made, towards a 'self-governing, indigenous Church', particularly in India, but the CMS had still not realised its goal.