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Anglican and Eastern Churches Association

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2388
Held at: Lambeth Palace Library
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Full title: Anglican and Eastern Churches Association
Date(s): 1894-1980s
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 5 volumes, 15 files, 1 bundle of foreign reports, and printed journals
Name of creator(s): Anglican and Eastern Association (for promoting Intercommunion between the Anglican and Eastern-Orthodox churches) | 1914-
Eastern Churches Association | 1864-1914
Anglican and Eastern-Orthodox Churches Union | 1906-1914


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Eastern Churches Association was founded in April 1864 with the aims to inform the British public as to the state and position of the Eastern Christians, to make known the doctrines and principles of the Anglican Church to the Christians in the East, and to take advantage of all opportunities for intercommunion with the Orthodox Church and friendly intercourse with the other ancient Churches of the East, and to assist as far as possible the Bishops of the Orthodox Church in their efforts to promote the spiritual welfare and the education of their flocks. This committee issued sixteen Occasional Papers between 1864-1874. After 1874, the Association languished owing to the death of its leading members and was practically refounded in 1893 when the Committee for the Defence of Church Principles in Palestine was united with it. By 1914, the Association had only 56 members.

Anglican and Eastern [Orthodox] Churches Union (AEOCU) was founded in 1906, by Rev Henry Joy Fynes-Clinton (1875-1959), in concert with the Rev F R Borough, in order by practical effort to promote mutual sympathy, understanding and intercourse, and to promote and encourage actions furthering Reunion.

Their activities were chiefly educational, including promotion of lectures on re-union and the Eastern Churches, the hire of sets of lantern slides illustrative of the churches, rites, ornaments etc of the Orthodox Churches, and production of leaflets for distribution by members. They also published a journal titled Eirene, and established a small lending library. A branch of the Union was founded in the United States of America in 1908. By 1914 the Union had approximately 2000 members in Britain. Fynes-Clinton was General Secretary of the AEOCU (and its successor) from 1906-1920, when he was appointed Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Eastern Church Committee.

Anglican and Eastern Churches Association was formed by the amalgamation in 1914 of the Eastern Church Association with the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union. The stated purpose of this organisation was to unite members of he Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches for the object of promoting mutual knowledge, sympathy and intercourse between the Churches, praying and working for re-union, and encouraging the study of Eastern Christendom. It was funded by subscription, though has since benefited from a bequest of 17000 received in 1974.

This association consisted of members who supported the Association by subscription. Administered by a General Committee, comprising two presidents - one Anglican and one an Eastern-Orthodox, two Vice-Presidents in England, one of each denomination, Branch Presidents, Treasurer and ex-officio General Secretary with 22 other members.

One area of particular interest to the Association was the continued use of the Cathedral of St Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul) as an Islamic mosque. The St Sophia Redemption Committee was formed [1914-1919] in order to arouse the English church to assist in liberating Eastern Christians from Turkish oppression. This committee comprised representatives of a number of denominations, with Fynes-Clinton as one of the secretaries, and were involved in the circulation of literature circulated, meetings held, to no avail.

The Association also had periods of increased activity following WW1 and WW2 as it attempt to ascertain the state of the various branches of the Eastern Orthodox church effected by the fighting and in particular the whereabouts of church leaders in countries where the churches were oppressed by enemy occupation or unfriendly governments.

The association was also involved with the Serbian Church Students' Aid Council, which was formed for the support of the theological education of a number of Serbian students at Oxford around 1919.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association and its predecessors comprising:

minutes of the Eastern Churches Association, 1893-1914 (1 vol);

minutes of the General Committee of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association 1913-1960 (1 vol);

OEOCU attendance book, 1908-1920, at various meetings and conferences of the Union/Association (1 vol);

Notebook of the Bournemouth Branch of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association (formed 1922), containing addresses of members, minutes of meeting, 1937 and related papers, 1940s (1 vol);

Scrap book of cuttings relating to Eastern churches and prelates, 1945-1950 (1 vol);

Papers relating to the Eastern Churches Students Committee re theological education of Serbian Students at Oxford including minutes, 1919-1922 (1 file);

Papers relating to anniversary meeting of the Association, 1932-1941 (2 files);

Secretary's Correspondence and related papers relating to the concerns of the Association, 1890s-1980s (12 files);

Papers and letters relating to the Fynes-Clinton row, 1932-33 (1 file);

Copies of printed journals of Eastern churches including Serbia, Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, 1900s, 1960s-1970s; (1 bundle);

printed reports of the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union, 1906-1914, (4 vols);

printed reports of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association 1914-1935 (5 vols);

publications including Eastern Churches Newsletter (ECNL) 1969-2002 (incomplete); Koinonia, from 2003.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Mainly English, with some material in Latin, Greek, Arabic, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Japanese.

System of arrangement:

As outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

The Library is freely available to members of the public at the discretion of the Librarian. However, to preserve our valuable holdings for the future, those wishing to use the Library must obtain a reader's ticket, which is valid for five years. In order to be issued with a ticket, all users of the Reading Room are required to present the following: For a ticket valid only for post-1800 printed material, all microfilms (which include marriage allegations before 1851) and all original wills, please bring proof of permanent address (eg. driving licence, bank statement, utility bill) and two recent passport-style photographs. For a ticket valid for all classes of material, including any original manuscripts and archives and pre-1800 printed material, please bring, in addition to the above, a formal letter of introduction (eg. from an academic supervisor/colleague, archivist, librarian, employer, vicar, or someone known to you in a formal capacity). Please note that we do not accept e-mails as a form of introduction. In addition, special permission is needed for access to some categories of material, eg. original illuminated manuscripts. It is a condition of access, in order to preserve our unique holdings, that all readers observe the rules of the Library, which are displayed for reference in the Reading Room. [NB Members of staff of the National Church Institutions should bring their staff pass, which will be valid for all classes of material with the exception of restricted material (eg. original illuminated manuscripts), for which special permission is required].

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies available

Finding aids:

Box list available.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The archives have generally been held by the General Secretary of the Society, and transferred to successive incumbents.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to Lambeth Palace Library by the Association, 2007.

Allied Materials

Related material:

H J Fynes-Clinton correspondence with Robert William Seton Watson 1915-1916, held by the School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library, London; and H J Fynes-Clinton correspondence with Arthur Cayley Headlam, 1918-1945 (Ref: MSS 2626-42 passim), held at Lambeth Palace Library.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission's On-Line National Register of Archives; Fifth Report of the Anglican and Eastern-Orthodox Churches Union, Oct 1912-1914, London, 1914; The Anglican and Eastern Association Sixth Report, 1914-1921, SPCK, London 1921.
Compiled by Alison Field as part of the London Signpost Survey Project

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
September 2003; Aug 2008

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