Blake, John Clifford, CB

Vice-President of the Conference in 1968, he was born of Baptist parents in Salford on 12 July 1901. He attended Manchester Grammar School and read Classics at Queen's College, Oxford before being articled to a firm of Manchester solicitors. In 1928 he joined the Legal Branch of the Ministry of Health, becoming its Solicitor and Legal Adviser in 1957. He was responsible for drafting the initial legislation for the National Health Service.

He was much in demand by the connexional departments at Westminster for legal advice and was a member of the Anglican/Methodist Conversations. He was closely involved with theMinisters' Housing Society and was convenor of the Conference committee whose report linked stipends to the cost of living. He represented British Methodism at the inaugural meeting of the Conference of West African Churches at Freetown, Sierra Leone, in 1961. In 1963 he became General Secretary of the Laymen's Missionary Movement (later Methodists for World Mission).

He was a keen sportsman and an accomplished organist, accompanying the Dorking Oriana Choir, where he lived from 1938. He was made a Companion of the Bath in 1958 and retired in 1965. He died on 13 March 1993 at Calow, Chesterfield.

His daughter, the Rev. Rosemary Dale, entered the ministry in 1987.

  • Conference Handbook, 1968