Ready, William
1860-1927; e.m. 1885

BC minister in New Zealand, born in a London workhouse to Irish RC parents. Orphaned at 5, he lived by his wits on the streets, but at 12 was sent to George Müller's orphanage in Bristol, where he received his education. Converted at 17, in 1884 he was he went for training to Shebbear College. He arrived in New Zealand in 1887 in answer to a call for help. The highlight of his ministry was the nine years in which he established the Dunedin Central Mission, where he is said to have preached to the largest congregations in New Zealand. His open-air work brought him into contact with pressing social needs and in response he initiated the Sisters of the Poor. Undoubtedly his childhood experiences gave him both sympathy for the plight of the poor and a passion for social justice. Coupled with his exceptional gifts as both street and pulpit orator, these made him an influential figure in the Church of his time. He was an active temperance advocate, particularly through the work of the Good Templars. Visiting England in 1897, he toured the BC circuits raising funds for overseas missions. He was President of the New Zealand BC Conference in 1912. He died suddenly on 7 September 1927.

  • Lewis H. Court, Ready, Aye Ready: the story of a romantic career (1935)