Auty, Thomas Richard (1885-1971)

Transcription of Obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS RICHARD AUTY, B.D.: born in London in 1885. After training at Hartley College, he commenced his ministry in 1910 at Thetford later travelling in the Sleaford, Sutton and Kirby, Long Eaton, and Staveley circuits. He was the forteen years minister of Clowes Memorial in the Stoke-on-Trent (Burslem) Circuit. During this period he served the city as a member of its Education Committee – before entering the ministry he had worked with the Education Board at Dewsbury. He served in the Lowestoft Circuit from 1938-1944, during the difficult war years which necessitated a period of separation from his family. 

His circuit ministry ended in the Leeds (Cardigan Road) Circuit. In all his circuits, he was a diligent, caring pastor and a vigorous, persuasive preacher. He read for and gained his B.D. after leaving Hartley College; later he became Hebrew examiner of the College and for many years was a member of the Connexional Probationers’ Committee. For almost the whole of his ministry he wrote the weekly background notes on Sunday School lessons upon which generations of Sunday School teachers depended. He was responsible for the establishment in the Primitive Methodist Church of Summer Schools and after Methodist Union served for many years as a member of the Connexional Youth Council and its Executive. He was one of the original Directors of Methodist Holiday Homes Ltd., and also served successively as acting Secretary, Managing Secretary and Chairman. He maintained his interest in the Holiday Homes to the end of his life. Countless holidaymakers owed more than they ever realized to his financial and administrative ability and to his insight into the needs of staff and guests.

His faith was keenly outward-looking. He had strong convictions about the missionary calling of the Church and about the social and political implications of the gospel. He was a pacifist and a socialist (often active on the political platform), but his pastoral concern and his gift for friendship enabled him to minister to those who did not share his views in these areas. He was at once deeply religious and brilliantly shrewd, Independent and determined in view point, he was nevertheless always sensitive and compassionate towards others. After months of increasing weakness, he died peacefully in Llandudno, on 4 June 1971, in the eighty-sixth year of his age and the sixty-first of his ministry.


Thomas was born on 5 July 1885 at Wood Green, London, to parents Jabez Auty, a horticultural builder (1891), and Elizabeth Frith Stead.

He married Edith Blanche Mossop (1885-1974) in the summer of 1914 at Ebenezer Chapel, Alfreton, Derbyshire. Birth records identify four children.

  • Jabez K (1915-1936)
  • John Hugh (1917-1987) – a student (1939)
  • Richard Mossop (1920-1996) – a university student (1939)
  • Kathleen M (b1922)

Thomas died on 4 June 1971 at Llandudno.


  • Hartley
  • 1910 Thetford
  • 1912 Sleaford
  • 1914 Sutton & Kirkby
  • 1918 Long Eaton
  • 1923 Staveley
  • 1928 Stoke (Burslem)
  • 1938 Lowestoft
  • 1944 Leeds Cardigan
  • 1950 Leeds Chap Al (S)


Methodist Minutes 1971/191

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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