Bates, Thomas (1886-1958)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS BATES: born in Leicester in 1886. He came of Primitive Methodist stock, and early in life heard the call of God to the Ministry. After training in Hartley College he began his ministry in Nuneaton in 1913, serving in the following circuits: Plymouth, Herts and Beds Mission, Brinkworth, Andover, Newbury, Witney, Malmesbury, Banbury, Shaftesbury, Blackwood, and Midsomer Norton. In 1948 he suffered a breakdown in health, and after a courageous three-year struggle retired on medical advice in 1951 after thirty-eight years in the active ministry, residing first at Paulton and later in the Radstock circuit.

A wise reader, with a well-stored mind, he preached on the great themes of the faith. He was a strong administrator, painstakingly thorough, and wholly devoted to his calling. Beneath a somewhat quiet, severe sterness of demeanour there was a choice and lovable spirit. He had an intense love for young people, successfully winning their esteem and loyalty. A diligent pastor, his ready response to the needs of others won him the confidence and affectionate regard of his people. Although never covetous of office and content to serve mainly in rural areas, he never shirked responsibility, and before Union held several Secretaryships of District Committees, was a General Committee Delegate, and had been Chairman of a Synod.

His latter years were burdened with increasing ill health and physical disability which he bore with Christian fortitude and patience. He passed to higher service on 14 December 1958, in the seventy-third year of his age and the forty-sixth of his ministry.

Family

Thomas was born in 1886 at Leicester, Leicestershire, to parents George, a shoe finisher (1891) and later foreman in boot factory, and Jane.

He married Gertrude Annie Thorn (1891-1979) in the summer of 1917 in the St Thomas Registration District, Devon. Birth records identify one child.

  • Geoffrey (b1818)

Thomas died on 14 December 1958 in Somerset.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1913 Nuneaton
  • 1914 Plymouth
  • 1916 Herts & Beds Mission
  • 1917 Brinkworth
  • 1920 Andover
  • 1923 Newbury
  • 1927 Witney
  • 1930 Malmsbury
  • 1933 Banbury
  • 1938 Shaftsbury &c
  • 1942 Sirhowy valley
  • 1946 Midsomer Norton
  • 1951 Paulton (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 1959/188

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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