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JMA

This originally stood for 'Juvenile (from 1974 'Junior') Missionary Association', becoming 'Junior Mission for All' in 1991. Its purpose was to raise funds, stimulate interest and 'prepare children for future usefulness'. Local Juvenile Societies predated the formal constitution of the WMMS in 1818 and for 50 years Joseph Blake of Harrow promoted a scheme encouraging Sunday School children to collect weekly contributions. Sherborne, Kirkgate, Bradford, Sheffield, Manchester, New North Road, London and Bolton were among the earliest to take this up. Initially opposed by Jabez Bunting, who feared lay control of Sunday Schools, the scheme was not officially sanctioned until 1865. In 1903 medals embossed with the motto 'For Zeal for Christ' were first awarded to those collecting 5. A new medal was struck in 1976; the qualifying amount was increased to 10 in 1981 and abolished in 1991. From 1932 four-fifths of the income went overseas and one-fifth to home mission. Blake's monthly paper Juvenile Offerings, free to collectors, was superseded in 1879 by At Home and Abroad and in 1974 by the quarterly Window, which eventually became Rainbow. The annual total raised through JMA reached almost 1 million in the 1980s, but declined with the number of Sunday School scholars.

See also Sowton, Stanley.

Sources

  • A brief history of JMA (London, [1995]

Entry written by: JRP
Category: Organisation

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