Belben, Howard Albert George
1914-1999; e.m. 1936

Biblical scholar and teacher, born at Sherborne on 8 June 1914. He was a student at Weymouth College before reading modern languages and theology at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and training for the ministry at Richmond College. He was chaplain and lecturer at Southlands College 1943-47 and served as Superintendent of the Wolverhampton (Darlington Street) circuit (1953-1957) and of the Sheffield Mission (1957-1960). More than half his ministry was spent at Cliff College, first as Junior Tutor (1947-53) and later as Senior Tutor (1960-65) and Principal (1965-77). He was always ready to introduce new educational methods and his own gifts as a teacher enabled students to realise the contemporary relevance of the Bible. During his Principalship the enrolment of students steadily increased and included women as well as men. He was particularly anxious, in line with tradition, to make room for the less privileged. His constant availability for pastoral counselling helped to ensure that the College remained a Christian family, rather than an impersonal institution. He was a founder member of the Methodist Revival Fellowship and of Conservative Evangelicals in Methodism. He retired in 1977. The Stanton Conference Centre and the Youth Camp are continuing reminders of his commitment to the wider outreach of Cliff. Following a stroke, he died in Sheffield on 21 September 1999.

  • Methodist Recorder, 30 September 1999