WM minister and author, born on 1 May 1889 at East Dereham and educated at Durban High School, S. Africa and Jesus College, Cambridge. For three years (1910-1912) he coxed for Cambridge in the university boat race and later was coach of the Jesus College boat and rowing correspondent of the News Chronicle and its predecessor for nearly 40 years. He was Assistant Tutor at Richmond College 1912-15 and teacher and (from 1918) chaplain at The Leys School 1917-49. Unable for health reasons to preach, he published devotional and popular theological works, including Concerning the Bible (1928), The Gospel of the Lord Jesus (1937) and An Approach to Church Membership (1946); also ten novels and plays under the pseudonym 'Michael Maurice', beginning with Not in our Stars (1923) and ending with Frail Ghost (1935). In retirement he discovered that he possessed the gift of radiesthesia ('Odic force') and exercised it in a healing ministry. He died in Cambridge on 21 November 1975.
His son Michael James Skinner (1919-2008; e.m. 1943) was born in Cambridge on 23 February 1919, read history at Jesus College and trained for the ministry at Wesley House. Despite his wish to remain in circuit work, he was appointed assistant tutor at Handsworth College 1946-1951; then, after ministries in Durham and Filey, was persuaded by W.F. Flemington to return to Wesley House to teach theology 1959-1974 and as Principal 1974-1980. From 1980 until his retirement in 1986 he was superintendent of the Leicester (South-East) circuit and Methodist chaplain at the university. He died in Oxford on 5 August 2008.