Gill, Walter
1914-1995; e.m. 1940

Born in Leeds on 14 December 1914, he trained for the ministry at Didsbury College, Manchester. A controversial article in the Bulletin of the Fellowship of the Kingdom, December 1960 led to accusations of heresy. In it he propounded a modernist approach, rejecting the idea of interventionist miracles, the virgin birth and the physical resurrection of Christ. In 1964, at the Ministerial Synod, to the question, 'Do you believe and preach our doctrines?' he gave a qualified reply: 'Yes, with the exception of the doctrine of the deity of Christ, my interpretation of which Conference refuses to accept.' Heresy charges ensued and he left the ministry. In 1986 he applied for reinstatement and was able to convince the Conference that his views were compatible with Methodist doctrine. He was reinstated as a supernumerary minister and died on 16 April 1995.

Quotations

,'We are fiddling while Rome burnsÂ…

.The truth is that the one assumption we make in all this tail-chasing activity is the very one that we have no right to make: that we have a read-made religion tailored perfectly to suit the needs of this generation, if only this generation can be persuaded to look the goods over. But if we clean our spectacles and look again we can see that in fact the garments are threadbare, shaby and torn, incapable of withstanding the wintry blastsÂ…

'So a courageous reconstruction of belief is required, and a fearless practice of it, and a prophetic proclamation of it. '

'WANTED - A SCHOOL OF MODERNIST METHODISTS' in the Bulletin of the Fellowship of theKingdom, December, 1960

Sources
  • Papers etc. deposited at the Methodist Archives Centre, Manchester