Perkins, Dr Ernest Benson
1881-1974; e.m. 1903

He was born in Leicester on 14 July 1881, trained at Handsworth College and served as a Chaplain to the Forces in World War I. In 1920 he was appointed to the Temperance and Social Welfare Department. At the Methodist Church Congress in 1931 he spoke on 'A New Puritanism'. He developed a special interest in gambling and its social effects; and his Beckly Lecture of 1950 was on Gambling in English Life (revised edition, 1958). After ten years in the Birmingham Mission (1925-35) and four in the Sheffield Mission (1935-1939), he became Secretary of the connexional Chapel Committee in Manchester. In collaboration with Albert Hearn, he wrote The Methodist Church Builds Again (1946), an important guide to post-war rebuilding. He also gave the 1952 Wesley Historical Society Lecture on Methodist Preaching Houses and the Law, tracing the development of the Model Deed from Wesley's own day.. He was President of the Conference in 1948, Vice-President of the British Council of Churches 1952-54, and Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council in 1954. His autobiography is entitled So Appointed (1964). In retirement he devoted much time to the World Methodist Council. His 'granite views and granite appearance' were memorably described by W.E. Sangster: 'So wise is he, so square, so strong, he has always struck me as having been quarried rather than born.' He died in Moseley, Birmingham on 23 September 1974.

  • Methodist Recorder,15 July 1948; 3 Oct. 1974