Women in missions at home and abroad
in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
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This chapter surveys Methodist missions throughout the century and the opportunities they provided for professional female evangelism. It adopts a broad definition of missionary work, including home missions, missions to emigrant communities, mainly in British colonies and foreign missions. All provided opportunities for women to preach, although these varied by time and place. Home missions to areas outside any Methodist organizational structure declined in importance in the mid-century, but became a major focus in the last two decades of the century when Methodists started to pay greater attention to working among the poor in cities. All home missions continued to provide opportunities for female evangelists, some of whom were hired as paid workers by their Connexions. Missions to emigrant communities were particularly important for the Primitive Methodists and Bible Christians, who lost substantial numbers of home members to emigration. In the last quarter-century overseas missionary societies began to recruit women, largely to work with indigenous women and children in Africa and Asia.

Women and the shaping of British Methodism

Persistent preachers, 1807–1907

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