Florence Allshorn was an Anglican missionary and trainer of missionaries. Born in Sheffield, England, Allshorn was orphaned by the age of three and was brought up by her mother’s governess. She studied art and domestic science and came into active Christian faith through contact with the cathedral in Sheffield, where she later worked. In 1920 she went under the Church Missionary Society (CMS) to Uganda, where she taught in the girls’ school at Iganga, Busoga. The relationship with a senior missionary was very difficult, and this highlighted for her the need for love between missionary colleagues. On leave in 1925, she was found to have tuberculosis and spent two years in treatment. The CMS then invited her to run their training college for women missionaries, which she did until 1940. Her emphasis was very much on spiritual life and where such emphases could be continued, she founded St. Julian’s Community, now at Coolham, West Sussex, which continues to the present day. A guest house and retreat center, it draws mostly unmarried women, many of them connected with CMS. In the training of CMS missionaries, Florence Allshorn’s concerns have remained important.
Florence Allshorn, “Corporate Life on a Mission Station,” IRM 23 (1934): 497-511. Eleanor Brown, “Florence Allshorn,” in Gerald H. Anderson et al., eds., Mission Legacies (1994), pp. 110-116; J. H. Oldham, Florence Allshorn and the Story of St. Julian’s (1951); Margaret Potts, ed., The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn (1951). See also Max Warren, Crowded Canvas: Some Experiences of a Lifetime (1974).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.