Canon W.H. Temple Gairdner of Cairo’s Letters to His Friends

W.H. Temple Gairdner [1873-1928], W.H.T.G. to His FriendsWilliam Henry Temple Gairdner (July 31, 1873 – May 22, 1928) was a British Christian missionary with the Church Missionary Society in Cairo, Egypt. His entire life was dedicated to service in Egypt as he himself commented when he was first preparing to leave. While in Cairo he partnered with his dear friend Douglas M. Thornton in order to reach educated Muslims with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This dynamic duo held many lectures in their home, Beit Arabi Pasha, and wrote a weekly magazine titled Orient and Occident. After Thornton’s death in 1907 Gairdner continued his work in Cairo but was never able to recapture the amount of work that was accomplished when Thornton was at his side. It was this lack of help that would plague his ministry until the day of his death in 1928. Gairdner was a prolific writer and scholar of Arabic.

Wikipedia [weblink mine]

This collection of letters and informal writing was provided for digitisation by Redcliffe College. This volume is in the public domain.

W.H. Temple Gairdner [1873-1928], W.H.T.G. to His Friends. Some letters and informal writings of Canon W.H.Temple Gairdner of Cairo 1873-1928. London: SPCK, 1930. Hbk. pp.173. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. The Near East
  2. Hee Sees the World
  3. At the Sea
  4. Christmas and Easter Festivals
  5. Letters to Children
  6. Portraits
  7. He Sends his Thanks
  8. He Shares the Lives of his Friends
  9. Reflexions on some Deeper Things
  10. Arts and Artists
  11. Hellas
  12. On Books nd Authors
  13. On the Writings of H. G. Wells
  14. On Elgar’s Second Symphony


This little book has been compiled at the suggestion of many friends who wished to have a lasting share in what has been called my husband’s “greatest legacy” -that is, his letters and informal papers. And indeed this thought of sharing is a keynote of the book, just as it was also of the life of Temple Gairdner-one who was ever eager both to enter into the lives of others and to share with them his own. Writing was to him no labour; it was inevitable, easier often than speech. “Read what I have written,” he would say, when asked to describe some incident.

But it is to the circumstances of his life-his residence as a missionary abroad, with the inevitable long and frequent separations from kith and kin-that we owe the mass of his correspondence. There were letters on purely personal subjects, giving sympathy with friends in joy or sorrow, or vividly describing some latest happening in his own circle….

For more resources on W.H.T. Gairdner, click here

Douglas M Thornton – Study in Missionary Ideals and Methods

William Henry Temple Gairdner [1873-1929], D.M. Thornton. A Study in Missionary Ideals and Methods.Douglas M. Thornton [1873-1907] was an Anglican missionary to Egypt, where he worked among the muslim population. He died after only nine years there, of typhoid fever, but the missionary principles he demonstrated were carried on by W.H.T. Gairdner and others – hence this book’s title.

My thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide for providing a copy of this book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

William Henry Temple Gairdner [1873-1929], D.M. Thornton. A Study in Missionary Ideals and Methods. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1909. Hbk. pp.283. Click to download complete book in PDF]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. Childhood and Schooldays
  2. The Christian Student Movement – On the Staff
  3. On the Threshold
  4. The Field and the Man
  5. The First Six Months
  6. The First Six Months
  7. A Glimpse Within
  8. Apprenticeship
  9. Experimental
  10. The Literature Idea
  11. “Bait Arabi Pasha”
  12. “Orient and Occident”
  13. The Last Furlough
  14. The Last Year
  15. The Last Dawn – and the First


“Thornton was the first man I ever met who devoted his intellectual powers to thinking out the wider problems of the evangelisation of the world and the spread of Christian institutions in mission lands. Although since then I have met others who were occupied with the same questions, I have never known any one who approached them with more whole-hearted devotion, a keener zeal for knowledge, a closer mastery of detail, or a more far-sighted and elevating faith.”

-[Extract from a Memorial Sketch, by a Cambridge friend.]

The above words, by a friend of D. M. Thornton’s, and a man already highly distinguished in the field of scientific research, express very justly the reasons which dictated the writing of this Memoir. It is not that Thornton was the writer’s dear friend and intimate colleague and leader in work -such a reason would not have been sufficient, had not he been, as he was, representative. [Continue reading]

History of Christian Egypt from 1st Century to the Dawn of 20th

Montague Fowler [1858-1933], Christian Egypt, Past, Present, and FutureMontague Fowler provides us with a comprehensive account of the development of Christian Egypt. He includes not only accounts of individual denominations, but also various missionary organisations, such as the North Africa Mission and the Egypt Mission Band.

My thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide for providing a copy of this book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

Montague Fowler [1858-1933], Christian Egypt, Past, Present, and Future. London: Church Newspaper Co. Ltd., 1901. Hbk. pp.319. [Click to download the complete book in PDF]


  • Preface

Book I

  1. The Dawn fo Christianity in Egypt
  2. The Church of Alexandria From the Fourth to the Sixth Centuries
  3. The Mohammedan Conquest of Egypt
  4. The Coptic Church in the Middle Ages
  5. The Coptic Church From the Thirteenth to the Seventeenth Centuries
  6. The Church in Abyssinia – History, Doctrines and Customs, and Lists of Metropolitans

Book II

  1. The Coptic (Jacobite) Church. (a) Churches. (b) Schools. (c) Liturgies and Worship. (d) Ecclesiastical Vestments. (e) Articles of Belief. (f) Political Status and Disabilities. (g) List of Patriarchs and Bishops.
  2. The Greek (Melchite) Church. (a) Churches. (b) Schools. (c) Ecclesiastical Establishment. (d) List of Patriarchs.
  3. The Roman Catholic (Uniat) Church. (a) Churches. (b) Schools. (c) Statistics.
  4. The Anglican Church. (a) Bishop Blyth’s Administration. (b) Chaplaincies. (c) Missions. (d) Influence on Egypt. (e) The Anglican Bishopric for Egypt.
  5. The Roman Catholic Mission. (a) Churches. (b) Prospects.
  6. The Armenian Church. (a) Churches. (b) Schools. (c) Statistics.
  7. The American Presybyterian Mission. (a) Churches. (b) Schools. (c) Statistics.
  8. Various Protestant Missions. (a) British and Foreign Bible Society. (b) German Protestant Mission. (c) Dutch Mission. (d) North African Mission. (e) Egypt Mission Band.
  9. Statistics of the Population (Civil and Religious) of Egypt.

Book III

  • The Future Possibilities of Christianity in Egypt


For more material on Egypt click here

Africa Inland Mission Work in Central Africa

Daniel Morison Miller [1888-1965], Central Africa Revisited. A 16,000 Mile Tour Thoughout the Fields of the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, Congo, Sudan and EgyptDaniel Miller [1888-1965] was the Deputation and Editorial Secretary of the Africa Inland Mission (A.I.M.). In the 1930s he undertook a 16,000 mile tour of A.I.M. stations in Africa and this book records what he found. My thanks to the team at Africa Inland Missions’ UK office who established that no living descendant of the author could be located. If anyone knows who might have inherited the rights to this title, please contact me. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to scan.

Daniel Morison Miller [1888-1965], Central Africa Revisited. A 16,000 Mile Tour Thoughout the Fields of the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, Congo, Sudan and Egypt. London: Africa Inland Mission / London & Edinburgh: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, [1938]. Hbk. pp.121. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  • Preface
  • Foreword
  1. Africa Through the Years
  2. The Journey Out
  3. Through Mountainous Kenya
  4. The Eldoret Area
  5. In Western Tanganyika
  6. Across the Waterways of Uganda
  7. Back in the Belgian Congo
  8. Through Egypt Via Upper and Lower Sudan
  9. The Goal
  • Epilogue

From the Dust Jacket

A record of a 16,000 mile tour through East and Central Africa. The scenes are vividly portrayed and include descriptions of:- Kenya, with its lofty mountains and picturesque tribes; the Eldoret Area on the edge of the rift valley populated by the “Cliff-dwellers” and other nomadic tribes; Tanganyika with its peace loving Basukumu, living among fantastic rocks and rolling plains. Crossing  Uganda, with its numerous waterways, a pause is made in the West Nile district to review a remarkable piece of missionary work; then follows a description of the Belgian Congo in its tropical setting, inhabited by a great variety of people. The writer turning homewards follows the winding course of the White Nile for 1,300 miles to Khartoum; crosses the scorching desert to the rainless area around Shellal, through Egypt and thus home. [Continue reading]

Gospel in North Africa

John Rutherford [1816-1866] & Edward H. Glenny [1853-1926], The Gospel in North Africa in Two Parts

This large-format and profusely illustrated book provides a unique record of missions work across North Africa up to the end of the 19th Century. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to digitise. This book is in the public domain.

John Rutherford [1816-1866] & Edward H. Glenny [1853-1926], The Gospel in North Africa in Two Parts. London: Peter Lund, 1900. Hbk. pp.248. [Click to download the complete book in PDF]



Part I – John Rutherford

The Countries of North Africa
The Peoples of North Africa

Part II – Edward H. Glenny

A Sketch of the North Africa Mission
The Origin of the North Africa Mission
Establishment of the Mission to the Kabyles
Reorganisation of the Mission
The Mission’s New Developments
The Progress of the Algerian Mission
The Work of Others in Algeria
The Morocco Mission
The Tunisian Mission
The Tripoli Mission
The Mission in Arabia and Egypt
Summary of Methods of Work Adopted
The Mission Base in England
Results and Conclusion

Preface to Part I.

“Mohammedans,” writes Dr. George Smith, “are a people with whom apostasy is death, who have made Christendom feel their prowess for centuries, who have steadily advanced and rarely retreated, who up to this hour have yielded the fewest converts to the Gospel, and have attracted the fewest missionaries to attempt their evangelisation, even in British India, where toleration is assured.”

To a superficial observer Mohammedanism appears to show piety, dignity, sobriety, sincerity, and great moral worth. But let the traveller frequent their company, and Moslems are found to be false, vicious, and grasping; do business with them, and they will unblushingly cheat and rob; fall under their power as a wife or daughter must, and they will extract all the labour and profit possible, and then the victim is cast off like an old shoe. While the name of God is in constant use, and prayers and fastings are practised everywhere, depravity, deceit, and heartlessness abound. Certainly there are exceptions, but the character of the religion is even more degrading than has been described. It is essentially selfish and full of loopholes for sin. [Continue reading]

Egypt and Palestine – The Way of Partnership

S.A. Morrison, The Way of Partnership With the C.M.S. in Egypt and PalestineThis little book tells the story of the Church Missionary Society’s work in Egypt and Palestine up to the early 1930s.

S.A. Morrison, The Way of Partnership With the C.M.S. in Egypt and Palestine. London: Church Missionary Society, 1936. Hbk. pp.87. Click to download in PDF.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society


1 – Palestine – A Ministry of Reconciliation
2 – Palestine – Greater Works Than These
3 – Palestine – For the Healing of the Nations
4 – Egypt – The Old and the New
5 – Egypt – The Spirit of Life
6 – Egypt – Evangelism by the Church
7 – Palestine and Egypt


It is a great pleasure to me to be asked to write a Fore· word to this book on the Near East, first because it is written by my old friend and colleague, Mr. Morrison, and secondly because I still regard the Near East as the land of my adoption, where I spent the best years of my life in missionary service.

The tide – The Way of Partnership – is both significant and well chosen, for perhaps nowhere in the whole world is there more need to-day for the interpretation of the Gospel in terms of partnership than in Palestine and Egypt. Palestine, with its warring creeds and race conflicts, presents a baffling problem to the missionary, and the contribution of the C.M.S. to the solution of this is a notable one. The Jerusalem Girls’ College in which three societies co-operate, is a good illustration of missionary partnership; but the pupils are an equally good example, for in this college Arabs, Jews, and Christians are studying together and learning to appreciate each other’s point of view.

Egypt, with its ancient Coptic Church and its aggressive Mohammedanism, offers another difficult problem, particularly just now when probably a thousand Christians a year are becoming Moslems.

Mr. Morrison is a recognized authority on missionary questions in the Near East, and he tells his story of nearly a century’s missionary effort by the C.M.S. with balanced judgment and insight. He reminds us of the days of the good Bishop Gobat, who founded the first Christian school in Palestine with a small class of nine Arab boys, and thus laid the first foundations of an educational system in what was then an illiterate country. [Click to continue reading]