Smith, Dr Charles Ryder
1873-1956; e.m. 1895

Methodist scholar, born on 10 January 1873 at Mansfield and educated at Kingswood School. After a period as Assistant Tutor at Headingley College and twenty years in English Circuits and Bombay, he was appointed Tutor in Systematic Theology at Richmond College in 1920, where he remained until retirement in 1940, becoming Principal in 1929. He was also a Professor in the University of London and Dean of the Faculty of Theology. His series of Studies entitled The Bible Doctrine of... are marked by a careful survey of the evidence and include one on Womanhood (1923). He spoke on 'The Ministry of Women' at the 1929 Methodist Church Congress. He was a member of the Methodist Sacramental Fellowship, his 1927 Fernley Lecture being on The Sacramental Society. He played an important part in the movement towards Methodist Union and in 1931 was elected President of the WM Conference He died in London on 23 March 1956.

His daughter Janet Louisa Ryder Smith was born at Richmond on 26 July 1912. She was educated at Bedford College, London and went as a missionary to Royapetta Girls High School in Chennai, South India, where she met and married the Rev. Stuart Luckcock (1908-2010), sharing in his village work from 1932 to 1974. She published a book of children's verse and sketches of mission life under the pen-name of 'Mrs. Mish'. Before retiring from work in India she was involved in founding the Church of South India Technical and Vocational Training College for Women at Coimbatore. Back home in England, she continued her teaching career. She was a local preacher for over 70 years and a local preachers' tutor. Their retirement was spent in Cromer and Dereham, where she opened their home to 'bed and breakfast' visitors to finance her study of the missionary John Thomas and a visit to Tonga. In her late 70s she was awarded a PhD by the Open University for a thesis on John Thomas, published in 1990. She died on 10 October 2005.


'Richmond men are inclined to feel that those who have not studied the Old Testament under Dr. Smith have not really penetrated to the inner things at all! He undoubtedly is the reason why the Old Testament seems noticeably to mean more to Richmond men than to some others in our ministry. Of course, we all began by trying vainly to imitate that remarkable voice of his… Richmond men everywhere have celebrated his "Look it up!" or "What have you done for me today, Mr. --?"… Students during the earlier part of his time at Richmond recall with what magnificant spirit he withstood the assaults of a very painful muscular complaint, from which he made a fine recovery.'

Frank H. Cumbers (ed.), Richmond College 1843-1943 (1944) pp.117-18

  • WM Conference Handbook, 1931
  • Methodist Recorder, 16 July 1931; 29 March 1956; 11 February, 1993; 26 January 2006
  • A. Marcus Ward, 'Charles Ryder Smith', in London Quarterly and Holborn Review, October 1956 pp.304-8