The Church of Scotland resolved to enter the Foreign Mission field in 1864 (later taking over the work of the Scottish Missionary Society). They sent their first missionaries to Bombay in 1829. We are aware of 33 missionaries from St Michael’s who felt called to that work over the years. The framed Roll of Honour, dated 1922, lists those who were sent out from St Michael’s in the time of Rev. George Wilson. Others went out in the years that followed.
These missionaries are remembered with deep gratitude in the places they worked. Many of these places still have very close links with Scotland. The Church of Scotland should take tremendous encouragement by the amount of love and respect that the people in these countries have for us.
One of the ministers writing in the Church of Scotland magazine, Life & Work, states:
It’s actually very moving, very humbling to hear how we are spoken of. It is a shame that the modern political climate almost makes us feel ashamed of the work the early missionaries did. But it is not perceived, by the people we are meeting now, as having been harmful or bad. They look back on the work done with great respect, love and affection.
Nowadays, with the passing of the Empire and Britain’s involvement in many distant lands, it is easy to forget just how important it was to reach out to others.