Forced Withdrawals and New Beginnings
The second half of the twentieth century was marked, even more than earlier decades, by rapid social change.1 Churches and mission agencies were affected and challenged like every part of society. The MMS made many changes, even to the name by which it was known in Methodism. Clifford Cook, retiring as Chairman of the Hong Kong District in 1954 after twenty-five years in China, wrote:
Hong Kong’s terminology did not find favour. But the new name eventually adopted by the MMS in 1973, Methodist Church Overseas Division, reflected the change in relationship and attitude Cook had reported, now widely shared both in Britain and around the world.