Born on 27 April 1917 at Oldham, the son of a PM minister, George Robert Brake (1879-1954; e.m.1905), he grew up in Norfolk. He studied at Cliff College and became a lay pastor; then trained successively at Richmond, Hartley Victoria and Headingley Colleges during the early war years. He made a particular study of Puritan literature. After some years in circuit work, he left Methodism and served in two Baptist pastorates and as a reporter in Southend before returning to the Methodist ministry in 1971. His fifteen years in the Ilford Circuit included ten as Superintendent. He also served as Synod Secretary. A prolific author, he wrote a massive work on Policy and Politics in British Methodism 1932-1982 (1984), a rich storehouse of information on the post-Union church for which he was made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He also wrote a detailed history of the Methodist Southend and Leigh Circuit. His interest in social implications of the faith is reflected in such works as Drink and Great Britain 1900-1979 (1980) and he was a frequent contributor to the Church Times, Universe etc. He was also Press and Information Officer for the United Kingdom Alliance. His autobiography was entitled Trying to Catch up with God (1994). He died on 20 December 2001.
See also: Ministry - men who returned.