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Echoes of Service Archive

Date range: 1930s to present.

The agency Echoes of Service has been the focus of contact between Christian brethren assemblies and missionaries working in the field since the 1880s.

It began life as a magazine produced to publish letters from independent missionaries, but over time the role of the magazine’s editors expanded, and they became a focus of contact between assemblies at home and missionaries overseas.

Based in Bristol, Echoes of Service continues to look after the interests of missionaries, to channel funds to them, and to publish information about their work.

The Echoes of Service archive comprises files of correspondence between Echoes staff and individual missionaries and married couples in the field.

Many of the letters from missionaries are particularly valuable: they provide reports on their activities, accounts of events and incidents, and comments on local missionary organizations and relationships within the missionary community, including remarks on the effectiveness or otherwise of individual missionaries.

Early correspondence files were lost or destroyed during the Second World War. However, files ‘live’ in 1945 often related to missionaries who had been active for some time, and many include earlier correspondence.

The archive contains much of interest for those studying Christian mission in general, the role of British missionaries in the twilight years of the British Empire, colonialism and post-colonialism in Africa, the West Indies, South America and the Asia-Pacific region, and the significance of missionary activity within the Brethren tradition.

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


Main Library

Using the reading room in the Main Library