Prest, Charles
1806-1875; e.m. 1829

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WM minister, born in Bath on 16 October 1806. Accepted for the ministry in 1829, he was sent to stand in for a disabled minister in Bristol. He played an active part in the building of the new Kingswood School when it moved to Bath in 1851. He was President of the Conference in 1862. A staunch Protestant, as secretary of the Committee of Privileges from 1857 until his death, he was an outspoken opponent of 'Popery' and a supporter of the Evangelical Alliance. As secretary of the Home Mission Committee from 1857 to 1875, he was very much involved in the reorganization and extension of Home Missions, including chaplaincy work in the army and navy. Although his own ministry had been predominantly urban (including three years at Wesley's Chapel, London in 1851-1854), he gave enthusiastic support to rural extension, sometimes beyond the financial and other resources available. He was an advocate of lay representation at the Conference, though he did not live to see its achievement. His publications included The Home Work of the Wesleyan Methodists (1855) and The Witness of the Holy Spirit (1864). He died at Lee (Lee Green, near Blackheath?), Kent on 25 August 1875.

  • Clive D. Field, 'Sidelights on the Victorian Wesleyan Ministry: The Diary of Charles Prest, 1823-75 - a Quantitative Analysis', in WHS Proceedings, 52 pp.176-83
  • Ron Woollacott, Nunhead Notables: a biographical list of notable men and women buried in London's Nunhead Cemetery of All Saints (2002) p.82