In 1966 the London Missionary Society and the Commonwealth Missionary Society merged to form the Congregational Council for World Mission (CCWM). The formation of the United Reformed Church in England and Wales in 1972 brought into the work of CCWM the mission work of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, particularly Bangladesh, Singapore and Taiwan. In 1973 CCWM became Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed). But changes were not complete and in 1975 a consultation was held in Singapore.
The mission consultation brought together churches that had been engaged in foreign mission and the churches established through those missions. Encouraged and challenged by the associate churches, the consultation agreed that the CWM’s current structures maintained unhelpful donor and recipient relationships which failed to give space for a truly collaborative exercise. The document calling for change “Sharing in One World Mission” points to the ecumenical nature and outlook of the new CWM. The new structure based on equal partnership and mutuality came into being in 1977.
In 1980 the name was changed again to simply be the Council for World Mission – dropping Congregational and Reformed. 1995 CWM celebrated its 200th Anniversary in celebrations which were called “Dare to dream”. Since then CWM has continued to support member churches in mission, through the sharing of people, resources and learning.
In 1994 the Hong Kong Council of Churches in Christ in China decided to sell a hospital property which had been in place for over a century as part of the LMS mission work. The sale of this property was shared between the Hong Kong Council of Churches of Christ and CWM, meaning that CWM received a significant amount of money which is invested and continues to support the work of CWM.
The financial resources made it possible for CWM to launch a Mission Support Fund (MSP) which supports member churches in mission and in 2001 to launch Regional Empowerment Fund which supported mission programmes in the regions of CWM.
A new governance structure was adopted in 2003 and again in 2012. In 2012 CWM relocated the general secretariat to Singapore.
A whistle stop tour of the story of LMS and its merging with other missionary societies over time, which bring us up to today with our vision today of “fullness of life through Christ for all creation” and our being “called to partnership in Christ to mutually challenge, encourage, and equip member churches to share in God’s mission.”