The Woman’s Auxiliary was founded in April 1885 “for the promotion of missionary effort”. The first president was Margaret Medley, wife of the Bishop of Fredericton and Archbishop of the Province of Canada. Roberta E. Tilton of Ottawa was the major force in organizing both diocesan and parochial branches and in promoting the affiliation of existing groups and societies.
The “Letter Leaflet” was a monthly publication first produced in the Diocese of Toronto. It expanded and became the W.A.’s official publication and in 1923 it was renamed “The Living Message”.
The W.A. was reorganized in 1908 following the founding of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada (MSCC) to conform to the structure of General Synod. Caroline M. Patterson Hall was elected president and the first meeting of the General Board was held in Winnipeg.
Initially the work of the W.A. included mission education among Girls; Juniors and Little Helpers (Babies) branches; support of women working as missionaries and assistants in Japan (later China and India) and on Indian Reserves; Dorcas work and financial support for the education of missionaries children. A pension fund for women missionaries was established in 1910. In 1912 after several years of discussion the W.A. agreed to assume responsibility for work with women and children overseas. This included additional budgeted expenditures for evangelism, schools and hospitals. This agreement was extended to the Canadian mission field in 1919.
In 1928 the general meeting became annual. Recognizing an expanded social service role in 1931 the W.A. added a clause to its Constitution governing its cooperation with the General Board of Religious Education (GBRE) and the Council for Social Service (CSS). In 1947, the name was formally changed to Woman's Auxiliary of the Church of England in Canada.
In 1966 the constitution was amended and the Woman’s Auxiliary became the Anglican Church Women (ACW). Integration with General Synod was agreed as a national goal and took place in 1973. Since that time the organization exists by choice at the diocesan and parish levels.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of the constitution; minutes; legal records; reports; correspondence; missionary employment records; financial records; administration files; printed materials; photographs; scrapbooks; and audiovisual materials.
The fonds is arranged in the following series:
Series 1. Minutes of the National Board of the Woman's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women, 1889-1973;
Series 2. Constitution of the Woman's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women, 1885-1970;
Series 3. Legal records, 1883-1968;
Series 4. Annual Meeting Reports, 1886-1973;
Series 5. Executive Committee Minutes of the National Board of the Woman's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women, 1886-1973;
Series 6. Records of the W.A. President, 1885-1960;
Series 7. Records of the Corresponding Secretary, 1890-1948;
Series 8. Records of the Recording Secretary, 1918, 1929;
Series 9. Records of the Dorcas Secretary, 1886-1964;
Series 10. General, 1886-1962;
Series 11. Literature and Supply, 1913;
Series 12. Junior and Little Helpers, 1926-1964;
Series 13. Committees, 1893-1974;
Series 14. Missionaries, 1891-1961;
Series 15. Finance records, 1887-1971;
Series 16. Anglican Church Women Administration Files, 1969-1974;
Series 17. Printed Materials, 1886-1971;
Series 18. Diocesan Reports, 1885-1974.
Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada (MSCC) fonds