Date of creation: c. 1890 to 1997
Extent: 12 boxes
CCCW Catalogue: PHP
Keywords: Nigeria, Anglican Church, Tom Dennis, Bertram Lasbery, Diocese of the Niger

John and Anne Phillips worked as CMS missionaries at Onitsha and Emevor, Nigeria from 1954. Later, the couple worked in Sierra Leone before returning to the Diocese of the Niger in 1971, where John Phillips worked at the Dennis Memorial Grammar School and in religious education for the diocese. During this time John Phillips’ sister and brother served as CMS missionaries in Enugu and Onitsha. The collection was donated in several instalments and includes pamphlets, reports, synod documents, and other papers related to the Diocese of the Niger and the church in Nigeria more generally.

The Phillips also conducted their own extensive research into the history of the Niger Mission and the collection contains copies of correspondence and papers from several other individuals related to the mission. In particular, it includes the regular newsletters that Bertram Lasbery, a graduate of Ridley Hall, Cambridge and Bishop on the Niger from 1922 to 1945, sent back to his former parish in Bishopwearmouth, Northumberland. There are also significant papers and photographs about Thomas Dennis, a CMS missionary in Nigeria from 1893 to 1917, who completed a translation of the Bible into Igbo during his service, and his family, including his sister Frances’s diaries1902-09; also about Canon Charles Foster (1904-87), Head teacher at Dennis Memorial G.S., James Welch, a CMS missionary in Isoko from 1929 to 1935 and a lecturer at Ibadan University in the early 1950s, and Morris Gelsthorpe, who worked as a missionary in Nigeria in the 1920s before moving to Sudan. The collection also includes writings of Elizabeth (Macdonald) Wilkinson, an America who worked as a CMS missionary at Awka in the 1920s and 1930s and journals and papers of Margaret B. Sheath, another missionary in Isoko country 1929-33.

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