Race family, of Lincoln

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Joseph Race (1848-1880; e.m. 1872) was born at St. John's Chapel, Weardale on 11 January 1848. After training at Richmond College, in 1873 he became a missionary in China with David Hill. His wife Hannah was the daughter of Joshua Dawson, a lay evangelist in the north of England, and they were married in Shanghai in 1876. Joseph died in Hankow of typhoid fever on 30 August 1880, the first WM missionary to China to die there, and Hannah brought her three children home.

Joseph's grandson, Philip Race (1916-2003) was the older son of Russell T. Race (1879-1926), a Lincoln solicitor, who also died young, in 1926; his mother was a JP for over 25 years. He was born in Lincoln on 22 June 1916. Unable to go to university, he was articled to a member of his father's old firm in Lincoln and qualified as a solicitor in 1938. Returning to Lincoln after war service in the RAF, he took over the leadership of the youth club at St. Catherines Methodist Church and found himself involved in the development of the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs. He spent 15 years writing scripts for and producing drama at MAYC London Weekends, with his brother Steve as musical director. He became the MAYC Vice-President in 1950 and helped to form the Westminster Laymen's Movement in 1954. He became a local preacher in 1956 and was a lay representative at the World Methodist Conference at Lake Junaluska that year. He was Vice-President of the Conferences in 1957, the youngest to hold that office at that time. He was the youngest and only lay member of both the Anglican-Methodist Conversations, 1955-1963 and the Anglican-Methodist Unity Commission, 1965-1968. He held many offices in public life, including Undersheriff of Lincoln, chairman of the Lincolnshire Discharged Prisoners' Aid Association, and various offices in the Law Society. He also served on the management committee of Epworth Old Rectory. When the family moved to Burton, a village near Lincoln, they moved their membership to Bailgate church. He died on 9 February 2003.

Philip's younger brother Steve Race, OBE (born 1 April 1921 at Great Missenden, Bucks) was very much involved in the early years of MAYC as its musical director and as presenter and pianist at its annual London Weekend. He later made his name as a musician and broadcaster, e.g. as the compere of the TV musical quiz, 'My Music'. He wrote an autobiography and a biography of his missionary grandfather. He died in 2009.

  • William Moister, Missionary Worthies, 1782-1885 (1885) pp.339-40
  • Methodist Recorder,11 July 1957; 6 March 2003, 11 May 2018
  • Conference Handbook, 1957
  • Steve Race, Musician at Large (1979)
  • Steve Race, The Two Worlds of Joseph Race (1988)