RepositoryChurch of England Record Centre
Alt Ref NoBMU
Extent3 volumes, 1513 files
TitleBoard for Mission and Unity
DescriptionPapers of the Board, its Committees and Sub-Committees, and in relation to the work carried out under its Terms of Reference. Includes minutes of meetings, documents and papers circulated to Board or Committee members ahead of meetings, correspondence - both internal and external, and reports and articles used for background information on particular areas of interest. The collection also includes some material created by its predecessor, the Missionary and Ecumenical Council, with dates back to the 1940s, and of its successor, the Board of Mission, dating to 1995.

Committees and Groups were often referred to in correspondence and minutes by acronym, the main ones are listed below.

FOAG - Faith and Order Advisory Group
ACCM - Advisory Council for the Church's Ministry
ACRCR - Archbishop of Canterbury's Commission on Roman Catholic Relations
CRCR - Committee on Roman Catholic Relations
ARCIC - The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission
IFCG - Inter-Faith Consultative Group
CWMC - The Community of Men and Women in the Church
ACUPA - Archbishop's Commission on Urban Priority Areas
MTAG - Mission Theological Advisory Group
PIM - Partners-In-Mission
PWM - Partnership for World Mission
NSBP - Not Strangers But Pilgrims

(note: often there was overlap between the staff of BMU, will often more than one member working on a particular topic. This method of working is reflected by duplication of some material within certain files. However, while duplicate, the particular it was often the case that the particular staff member would add annotatations or alterations to the material in question.)
NotesThis catalogue was created following the generous awarding of a grant by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation via the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives.
AppraisalThe material was appraised in line with the Lambeth Palace Library/Record Centre appraisal policy when cataloguing took place in 2014/2015.
AccrualsNo further accruals expected, as the Council became the Board of Mission in 1991.
ArrangementLargely retains the arrangement created by an archivist in the 1990s. This follows a departmental structure of the central Board and its sub-committees, and the papers of the Board Secretary and Assistant Secretary. Generally within series files are arranged chronologically.
AccessConditionsMaterial less than 30 years old has been closed in line with

Some material has been closed in line with the Data Protection Act (1998). This material will be released at the appropriate point.
AdminHistoryEstablished to replace the Missionary and Ecumenical Council (MEC), the first meeting of the new Board took place at Church House, Westminster, London, on the 26 January 1972, with the Earl of March as Chair. At the meeting it was stated that the 'responsibilities of the new Board were considerably wider than those of the old Missionary and Ecumenical Council and more complex and technical', and the four broad areas of work were to be: mission at home; mission overseas; unity at home; and unity overseas. These aims were, later in 1972, extrapolated as below;

a, To advise the General Synod and the dioceses on the Church's responsibility for mission and unity.

b, To be the link between Synod and
- the Anglican Consultative Council;
- individual provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion;
- United Churches incorporating former Anglican dioceses;
- The missionary societies.

c, To be the principal channel of communication between General Synod and
- The World Council of Churches;
- The Conference of European Churches;
- The British Council of Churches;
- All other Churches as home and abroad.

d, (i) To be the link between the General Synod and the mission agencies and the Partnership for World Mission;
(ii) To present the annual report of the Partnership for World Mission.

e, To service committees and commissions engaged in unity discussion with other Churches.

The Board was constituted of a Chairman and twenty members, with the Chair being a member of the General Synod.The remaining members consited of ten members drawn from General Synod, three members of the Partnership for World Mission, four persons chosen for their knowledge of mission and unity, and three members co-opted by the Board. Members held office for a fixed term of five years in line with Synod. The Board came into being at what was considered to be 'a time of crisis in ecumenical affairs' (BMU/8/73). Fuelled by boredom with questions of institutional church union, and loss of postion of the Church of England of prominence in the reunion movement, the 'crisis' was also magnified by the growing responsibility for mission to deal with the 'widespread quickening of interest in the person of Jesus and a fresh experience of the renewing power of the Holy Spirit'. It was also conceived to be the Board's duty that it should try and maintain a balance between the four aspects of its responsibilities, and towards this end it was thought a good idea that members specialized in one or other of the four aspects, which were: mission at home; mission overseas; unity at home; and unity overseas.


- Rt. Hon. the Earl of March 1972-1977
- Bishop of Guildford, 1978-1982
- position vacant 1983
- Miss D. Wales, 1984-1988
- Bishop of Lichfield, 1989-1991


- Revd. P.B. Hinchliff, 1972
- Very Revd. John Arnold, 1972-1978
- Canon Martin A. Reardon, 1978-1989
- Canon Philip D. King, 1989-1991

Deputy Secretary:

- Canon P.G. Bostock, 1972-1976
- Revd. R.R. Huddleson, 1976-1981
- Revd. I.T. Holdcroft, 1982-1986

Home Secretary:

- Rev. Austin Masters, 1972-1978
- Rev. Keith Huxley, 1977-1983
- Canon Derek George Palmer, 1983-1987
- Canon C.J.V. Drummond, 1988-1991

Study Secretary:

- Mrs M.D. Fraser, 1972-1982
- Mrs (Dr.) M. Tanner (from 1988-1989 Theological Secretary and 1990-1991 Deputy Secretary), 1983-1991

In 1991 the Board was renamed to become The Board of Mission.
RelatedMaterialRecords of BMU's predecessor, the Missionary and Ecumenical Council, can be found at OrderNo MEC

Publications acquired with the BMU archive are held at the Church of England Record Centre but are awaiting inclusion in Lambeth Palace Library's printed books catalogue. The material includes both publications produced by BMU and external publications acquired by the Board for reference.

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
GB/109/13817Church of England; General Synod; Board for Mission and Unity; 1972-19911972-1991
GB/109/17848Fraser; Daphne (fl.1977); Secretary, Board for Mission and Unityfl.1971-1977
GB/109/14021Brown; David Alan (1922-1982); Bishop of Guildford1922-1982
GB/109/24033Wales; Daphne (1917-2015); Chairman of the Board for Mission and Unity1917-2015
GB/109/15691Sutton; Keith Norman (1934-); Bishop of Lichfield1934-
GB/109/7933Arnold; John Robert (1933-); Dean of Durham1933-
GB/109/24034Reardon; Martin Alan (1932-2006); General Secretary of the Board for Mission and Unity1932-2006
GB/109/8243Hinchliff; Peter Bingham (1929-1995); Canon of Christ Church and Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Oxford University1929-1995
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