Lewis, Mrs Mildred Clarissa, nee Babb

First woman Vice-President of the Conference, born on 27 April 1886 atBrixham. The daughter of the Rev. Henry Babb (1852-1933; e.m. 1878) and sister of Leonard J.W. Babb MC (1883-1967; e.m.1908), she was described as 'a Methodist of the Methodists'. She was both pupil, head girl and teacher at Trinity Hall, Southport and married David Lewis (1878-1942) of Bilston, an iron-founder who was a local preacher active in both Methodist and public affairs, with a special interest in education.

Following his sudden death in 1942 she took over much of his public work, served on many connexional committees, including Women in the Ministry, Ministerial Training, Church Membership and the 'July Committee'. She had a special interest in mental health and served on the Staffordshire Association for Mental Welfare and other similar bodies. She was also a prison visitor at Stafford Gaol. A gracious and friendly personality, in 1948 she became the first woman to be elected Vice-President of the Conference and in that office attended the first World Council of Churches' meeting in Amsterdam.

She died at West Wittering, Sussex on 22 January 1982.

  • Methodist Recorder, 15 July 1948; 25 Feb. 1982