Oldham, Joseph Houldsworth, Ecumenical statesman

Born Bombay, India, 20 October 1874, died St Leonard’s-on-Sea, England, 16 May 1969.

Educated at Edinburgh and at Trinity College Oxford, Oldham was secretary of the YMCA in Lahore, (1897-1901), then attended New College Edinburgh and Halle under Warnek.

From 1908 he was organizing secretary of the 1910 World Missionary Conference and in 1912 he became the first editor of the International Review of Mission. He was a key figure in the founding of the International Missionary Council (1921) and the development of the Life and Work movement.

An astute lobbyist in regard to German missions during and after World War I and African affairs in the twenties and thirties, he wrote Christianity and the Race Problem (1924) and edited the Christian News Letter during World War II. Though licensed by the United Free Presbyterian Church, he remained a layman and later became an Anglican.

Keith Clements, Faith on the Frontier, T & T Clark, 1999.

John Roxborogh