Scope and Contents
The collection consists of: circular letters from Clark describing her work in Gambia and Nigeria (1947-1963); material on the mobile bookshop including lists of books sold and examples of Christian literature (1958-1964); a Christian book list for Nigeria compiled by the Christian Council of Nigeria; material on the Methodist Girls' League in Eastern Nigeria (1938-1963); programmes and other items, including tape recordings, relating to the formation of the Methodist Church Nigeria (1962); and papers and other material on the Methodist mission and church in Nigeria in general (circa 1949-1962).
Biographical / Historical
Margaret Clark, Methodist Missionary Society missionary in Gambia and Nigeria, was born in Hartlepool on 12 September 1920. She was brought up in a Methodist family, her father being Circuit Secretary for Overseas Missions. She trained as a teacher at St Hild's College, Durham where she was a member of the Student Christian Movement. From an early age she had been interested in the world church and this increased with her membership of the Girls' League through which she met many missionaries and members of overseas churches. In 1945 she offered for missionary service and attended Kingsmead Missionary Training College, Selly Oak for 6 months' training. In December of 1946 Clark sailed to Gambia where she worked as a teacher in the Methodist Girl's High School in Bathurst until early 1950. She was then transferred to Eastern Nigeria arriving in the autumn of 1950. She first taught at the Methodist Elementary Training Centre in Oron then from October 1953 at the Women's Training College in Umuahia. She was, for a time, Literature Secretary of the Girls' League and became increasingly involved in Christian literature campaigns. From August 1959 she devoted herself full time to evangelical and literature work, in particular to establishing and running the Mobile Bookshop based at Umuahia and to organising audio-visual and literature conferences and workshops. She was present at the inaugural conference of the Methodist Church Nigeria in 1962. She resigned from the mission in the same year and arrived back in England in 1963 to work as Juvenile Missionary Association Secretary a post she held for three years. During this period she also did some writing for the Edinburgh House Press and the National Christian Education Council. Clark returned to Hartlepool in 1966 and moved to Northallerton in 1990.