Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
LEONARD CECIL BARKER: born in Borrowash, Derbyshire on 1st August 1902 to devout parents, his father being a local preacher, class leader and Sunday school teacher. Called to the ministry when he was fifteen, he was accepted for the Primitive Methodist Ministry and was a student at Hartley College at 20. Hoping to read for a degree, he was, however, called out after two years to fill a sudden vacancy at Bradford, and the following year was stationed at Clitheroe prior to ordination and marriage to his childhood sweetheart Doris Offer. Subsequent circuits were Scotter, Cleethorpes, Birmingham (Rookery Road), Mossley, Aberystwyth, Cannock Chase, and Rhyl & Prestatyn.
In Birmingham, during the Second World War, in an area where there was heavy bombing, he was in charge of housing bombed-out families. At Aberystwyth he was Free Church Chaplain to the university students, and at Rhyl was Free Church Chaplain and a teacher at Kinmel Army Camp. He saw himself as an ordinary Methodist minister, carefully visiting and administrating, and was known and blessed for his wise advice, but above all he felt he had been called to be a preacher, and his long and deep sermons reflected his wide reading. The opportunity of leading radio and television services was something he appreciated.
On retirement he and his wife stayed in Rhyl where the air was Beneficial to her health. He continued to lead worship at least once on most Sundays until the last eighteen months of his life. A protracted and serious illness a year before he died left him very weak. Nevertheless, he continued his reading and was making plans to preach again. However, his illness recurred and he died on 30th July 1982 in the eightieth year of his age and the fifty-eighth year of his ministry.
Leonard was born on 1 August 1902 at Borrowash, Derbyshire, to parents James Easom Barker, a mechanical draughtsman, and Catherine Sophia. He was baptised on 7 September 1902 at Derby.
He married Doris Offer (1905-1986) in the Shardlow Registration District, Derbyshire.
Leonard died on 30 July 1982 at Rhyl, Clwyd.
- 1924 Clitheroe
- 1928 Scotter
- 1932 Cleethorpes
- 1937 Birmingham Rookery
- 1944 Mossley
- 1947 Aberystwyth
- 1952 Cannock Chase
- 1957 Rhyl &c
- 1966 Rhyl &c (Sup)
Methodist Minutes 1983/54
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers