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Papers of Colin Forrester-Paton (1918-2004) and Jean Forrester-Paton (1917-1998)

Identifier: CSWC 37

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of: items relating to the Church in Ghana including the role of the Church of Scotland Mission, the Presbyterian Church and the Christian Council and in particular to the Church's relation to society and government on issues such as education, marriage and Ghanaian traditions; papers on Church Union; material relating to the Christian Council of Ghana's Committee on Christian Marriage and Family Life; and Ghanaian newspapers.


  • Creation: 1939-1994

Language of Materials

English Twi

Conditions Governing Access

Contact the repository for details.

Conditions Governing Use

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Biographical / Historical

Colin Forrester-Paton, Church of Scotland missionary in Ghana, was born on 5 April 1918 at Alloa, Scotland. His family had missionary connections, his uncle Ernest was a missionary in India and his great-aunt Catherine had trained women missionaries in Glasgow. Forrester-Paton was educated in Moffatt and Norfolk then at New College, Oxford University where he graduated 1st class BA Hons in 1940. He attended the United Free Theological College in Edinburgh and then graduated with a B.D. from London University in 1943. In the same year he was married to Jean Lorimer Crichton Miller (1917-1998) who had been working for the air force. Between 1943 and 1946 he was secretary of the Student Christian Movement and his contacts with Gold Coast students in Edinburgh at this time led to his interest in missionary work. He was ordained by the United Free Presbytery in 1944 and in 1946 left for Ghana with the Church of Scotland. His wife followed in 1947 and they were stationed in Akropong where at first Forrester-Paton taught at the Presbyterian Training College and studied Twi then concentrated on literature work. He did various work for the Presbyterian Church and Christian Council of Ghana involving literature and translation and was especially involved in ecumenical work. The Forrester-Patons also spent periods at Amedzofe and at Sandema in Northern Ghana. From 1960 Forrester-Paton acted as mission secretary and gave an increasing amount of time to the Accra Ridge Church. Jean Forrester-Paton raised three children and also often took services in schools and colleges and spoke at women's meetings and conferences. Her main work was with the Christian Marriage and Family Life programme of the Christian Council of Ghana. The committee (CCMFL) was set up in 1961 and instigated programmes and provided advice and training on family planning, marriage guidance, sex education and family relationships in general. Jean Forrester-Paton was its secretary from 1961 to 1972 and played a large part in securing the co-operation of the Roman Catholic Church in 1967. The Forrester-Patons left Ghana in 1972 and the following year Forrester-Paton became an associate minister in Hawick. He retired in 1983 but had been appointed Chaplain to HM the Queen in 1981 and was Extra Chaplain in 1988.


4 boxes


As described in Scope and Content. A lot of the material was arranged and annotated by Colin Forrester-Paton just before deposit.

Custodial History

The material has been treated as one collection although it was deposited at different times. The papers on the Christian Council in Ghana's Committee on Christian Marriage and Family Life came originally from Jean Forrester-Paton, the rest of the material was collected by Colin Forrester-Paton.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The material was given to the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World by Colin Forrester-Paton on several occasions in the 1990s and 2000-2001.


Further deposits may be possible.

Related Materials

Some pamphlets donated by Colin Forrester-Paton are in the Centre's library. There is relevant material in Ghana, for example with the Presbyterian Church's records. The Church of Scotland's missionary records are held by the National Library of Scotland. Charles Gyang-Duah's PhD thesis The Scottish Mission factor in the development of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (Edinburgh 1996) is in the Centre Library and gives a wide-ranging list of sources. Articles by the Forrester-Patons appear in History of the Presbyterian Church in Northern Ghana by Abraham Berinyuu (Accra: Christian Council of Ghana, 1997).


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) the collection itself (2) Berinyuu, Abraham. History of the Presbyterian Church in Northern Ghana. Accra: Christian Council of Ghana, 1997. (3) Fasti Ecclesiae Scotticanae (editions from 1981 and 2000), (4) information from Colin Forrester-Paton.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379