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Born at Crieff, Tayside on 8 Jauuary 1864, he rose from being an apprentice printer to beome a leading figure in the world of Fleet Street as the Secretary of the Newspapr Proprietors Association from 1918 to1936. As chairman of its Technical Committee, he showed a keen and effective interest in working conditions in the industry, especially during the General Strike of 1926. He received a knighthood in the 1933 New Year Honours, He was ‘a Scotsman who took London to his heart, a man of the people [whose] broad human sympathies were manifest.’

Living in Peckham and Forest Hill, he and his family worshipped at St. James Parish Church, where he led the Men’s Meeting and was chairman of the House Committee of the Royal Free Hospital. On his retirement to Wokingham they joined the Methodist society there. He died on 10th December 1942.

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Born in Hitchin, Herts on 18 April 1930, the son of the Rev. Wilfred C. Billington, he served his National Service as a pacifist in agricultural work. He was accepted as a probationer in 1949 and graduated from Handsworth College in 1952. A born rebel, his rejection of the idea of a personal God was spelled out in The Christian Outsider (1971), which he saw as a sequel to John Robinson's Honest to God and was followed in due course by Religion without God (2001).The Conference of 1971 found him guilty of heresy and he was expelled from the ministry. He then taught widely as an enthusiastic and stimulating philosopher, from 1971 to 1995 at the Univrsity of the West of England and elsewhre, including an exchange year, 1984-85, at Chicago State University, where his atheism aroused the hostility of fundamentalist students.

In later years his views were tempered by an interest in existentialism and eastern philosophy. He was a columnist for the Guardian, describing himself as 'an official Christian heretic'. He died of throat cancer on 1 September 2012.

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WM local preacher and from 1844 to 1846 Mayor of Maidenhead, was born in the town on 25 May 1800. In 1819 he became a chemist’s assistant in London. Like his father, in his youth he was ‘frivolous and foolish’ and seems to have had no Methodist connections. About a year after his marriage, when aged twenty-eight, he was converted at Windsor, his wife’s home town. He became a local preacher and through his efforts was mainly responsible for establishing Methodism in Maidenhead., where a chapel was opened in 1829, four years after preaching had begun in the Town Hall. He died at Windsor on 5 June 1867.

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John Taylor, the son of John Taylor, was born at Sutton Bank near Thirsk. At thirteen he entered his father’s ship-broking and coal-exporting business, subsequently becoming its head. He also became the senior partner in a Sunderland shipping firm owning a large fleet of steamers operating world-wide. Active in the life of the town, he was a River Wear Commissioner, Principal of the town’s Orphan Asylum and a Freemason. Originally he was a member at Sans Street Wesleyan chapel, saving the cause by helping it become a mission, and later at St. John’s WM Church. When his first wife, Mary Sanderson, died in 1901, he paid for the Grangetown WM opened in 1903 now closed), and paid for its pastor. He died on3 November 1927, leaving an estate valued at £189,000. A memorial window to him was unveiled in St. John’s.

His second son, Frederick William Taylor was a Sunderland councilolr and alderman, as well as a director of Sunderland Association Football Club.

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Entering his father’s Sunderland ship-owning and coal-exporting business in 1890, he became a partner in 1907 and subsequently inheriting the business. A Unionist, he was Mayor of Sunderland 1920-1922 and its Member of Parliament, 1922 to 1929, being knighted in 1929, In 1930 he became the Chairman of the British Coal Exporting Federation and was also a director of the Sunderland and South Shields Water Company, a River Wear Commissioner and Chairman of Sunderland Association Football Club. A Wesleyan, he was a member of St. John’s. Ashbrooke.

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Teacher and sociologist, was born in Dorset. The family moved to London, where hisI father became a chauffeur to bishop Davison and later a taxi-driver and a revivalist preacher at Hyde Park, having been converted under the preaching of Gypsey Smith. The family lived in Mortlake and attended Barnes Methodist Church. David was baptized at Westminster Central Hall by Dinsdale Young.

After leaving East Cheam Grammar School, he trained as a teacher at Westminster College just before it moved to Oxford.. While still teaching hetook his first degree by correspondence course with Wolsey Hall, Oxford, followed by a doctorate in 1964 at the LSE, published in 1965 as Pacifism: A sociological and historical study. Two years as a lecturer at Sheffield University led to a lifelong career as lecturer, reader and ,from 1971 until retirement in 1989, professor at the LSE and a prolific list of 24 books and numerous contributions to other titles on the sociology of religion. In 2000 he received an honorary doctorate from Helsinki University.

In his work he challenged the prevailing emphasis on secularisation and contributed significantly to the study of Pentecostalism in South America. He was a devotee of the language of the King James Bible and the Prayer Book, a skilful pianist and a lover of English poetry. From 1953 to 1977 he was a Methodist local preacher. After attending theological studies at Westcott House, Cambridge, in 1979 he was ordained into the Anglican Church and served as a non-stipendiary Assistant Priest at Guildford Cathedral. He died on 8 March 2019.

Hs many books included A Sociology of English Religion (1967), Tongues of Fire (1990) and Pentecostalism: the World their Parish (2002) .His autobiographicalThe Education of David Martin: the making of an unlikely sociologist,was published in 2013.

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The town of Rye, one of the Cinque Ports like its near neighbour Winchelsea, was visited by John Wesley from the towns along the Kentish border to the north, where Methodist societies already existed as a result of the pioneering work of Thomas Mitchell. Wesley himself came to have a warm appreciation of the local society despite the prevalence of smuggling along that part of the Channel coast. The first Wesleyan place of worship was a former Presbyterian chapel. It was replaced by a purpose-built chapel, provided by John Haddock, a prosperous citizen, and opened in 'Gun Garden' by Wesley himself in1789. Altered in 1812 and 1852, this was destroyed by bombing in World War II and replaced by its Sunday School building of 1901, converted for the purpose in 1954 and still in use.

The Wesleyan return at the time of the Census of Religius Worship in March 1851 recorded 180 free sittings and 370 others. Attendances: Morning187 plus139 scholars; Afternoon 50 scholars; Evening 300.

A chapel also existed throughout most of the 20th century at Rye Harbour to the south.

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Born at Caistor, Lincolnshire, on 31 December 1892, into a staunch Methodist family. His father, George Manning, trained as a teacher at Westminster College, but later left teaching to become a Congregational minister. Bernard, though baptized in the Methodist chapel at Caistor, eventually became a Conmgregationalist.

In 1911 he won a major scholarship in History at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he enjoyed a close friendship with Arthur Quiller-Couch, the new Professor of English Literature. For two years after his graduation he held the Lightfoot Scholarship, and his research for the Thirlwell Essay was eventually published in 1919 as 'The People’s Faith in the Time of Wyclif' . From 1920 to 1933 he was Bursar at Jesus College and from 1933 until his death in 1941 Senior Tutor. He spoke of his aim as to be ‘ultra- conservative in the little details of life, so asa to be able to strike out on liberal lines in the big things’. Despite his loss of one lung to tuberculosis in childhood, he was respected as a particularly energetic and effective member of staff. His lectures especially on religion in the Middle Ages were well attended and enjoyed. The quality of his scholarship was reflected in the chapters he contributed to the Cambridge Medieval History.

By Methodist readers he is chiefly remembered for his articles on the hymns of the Wesleys, which he first encountered as a boy in the gallery of Caistor Methodist chapel as an antidote to long sermons. They were published posthumously as The Hymns of Wesley and Watts (1942) with a Foreword by Henry Bett, and remained in print for many years.

He died peacefully on 8 December 1941.

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