Callin, Robert Wilfrid
1886-1951; e.m. 1909

PM minister and hymn-writer, born on 21 February 1886 at Douglas, IOM. He had some useful business experience before training for the ministry at Hartley College. As an army chaplain serving with the 4th Northumberland Fusiliers in World War I he experienced the full force of the German offensive in the spring of 1918 and wrote an account for private circulation entitled 'When the Lantern of Hope Burned Low'.

His hymn 'O Lord of every loving thing' (MHB 587) was written for a Sunday School Anniversary atGrimsby in 1914. It became widely popular, but was omitted from Hymns and Psalms. Another hymn with a spring theme, 'The lark, the thrush and the chaffinch bold' appeared in the Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book of 1950, set to the traditional tune 'Greensleeves'.

In 1946 he became Chairman of the Bradford District. At the time of his death, at Bradford on 11 June 1951, he was in line for nomination as President of the 1952 Conference, but had indicated his reluctance to stand because of his health.

  • C.W. Towlson, 'Wilfrid Callin as I Knew Him', in Methodist Magazine, 1951, pp.453-55
  • Kenneth Lysons, Robert Wilfrid Callin, parson padre, poet [1996]
  • Kenneth Lysons, 'Hymns for Spring' in Epworth Review, January 2004 pp.56-7