Roberts, Colin Augustus
1886-1975; e.m. 1909

Born on 4 January 1886 at Dawley, Shropshire. Thwarted by ill-health in his candidature for the ministry in 1909, he took pastoral charge of Wellington Congregational Church until F. Luke Wiseman recognized his potential, employed him as President's Assistant at the Birmingham Mission and supported his candidature. He became an army chaplain in 1915. He was ministerial secretary to the Wesley Deaconess Order, 1922-1926, then Chairman of the London NE District, before being appointed Secretary of the Home Mission Department in 1939. He helped raise the War Emergency Fund to assist Methodist congregations in stricken areas and launched the Christian Commando Campaigns. He became President of the Conference in 1952 and died at Penarth on 7 December 1975.


'Colin Roberts was an extraordinary man. Thin, frail and frequently unwell, he possessed a magnetic personality and indomitable strength. His iron will and the fire in his eyes betokened immense spiritual resources. He embodied many of the gifts and emphases of the early Methodist leadership, most notably a deep sense of religious conviction, a passion for communicating the Gospel to people outside the church, a daring and inspired form of leadership by example, and a high degree of organizing ability. These qualtities, together with his oratorical powers and common touch, were to be fully demonstrated in his role as organizer of the Christian Commando Campaigns.'

David Gowland and Stuart Roebuck, Never Call Retreat: a biography of Bill Gowland(1990) p.55

  • Methodist Recorder,10 July 1952; 18 Dec. 1975
  • Conference Handbook, 1952