Sowton, Stanley

Born at Plympton St. Mary in 1875, he was a conspicuously successful Circuit Missionary Secretary who gave up a career in banking and worked at the Mission House from 1906 to 1942. Before he was invited to join the staff he had taken a hand in making the Juvenile Missionary Association a dynamic children’s movement. He invented the JMA medals, which from 1903 were awarded to those who collected £% - then a considerable sum – for missionary funds, and he had begun writing in the children’s magazine At Home and Abroad under the by-line Uncle Ned, a name familiar to thousands for half a century. He was seconded to the Centenary Committee which organized meetings in every church and circuit as well as the Royal Albert Hall, produced study booklets and prayer cards, and raised £250,000. He then became Assistant Secretary for Finance, which for him was no desk job. He travelled widely and spoke often, and produced a steady stream of books and booklets, especially for JMA collectors, as well as many articles in the Methodist Recorder. He played an enthusiastic part in the Methodist Laymen’s Missionary Movement, and in retirement he instigated the purchase and renovation of the Isbell cottage at Trewint in Cornwall where Wesley preached, as a museum. For many years Sunday School Superintendent at Muswell Hill, he held many other offices, except that of Local Preacher, but declined to stand as Vice-President. He died in Plymouth on 21 August 1958.

  • Methodist Recorder, 19 February 1953; 31 March 1955; 28 Aug 1958