Brown, Leonard, M.A., B.D. (1906-1993)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

LEONARD BROWN: born in Manchester, on 6th December 1906. He was educated at the Wheler Street Elementary School, Higher Openshaw, and at the Manchester Central High School. He studied for an MA in commerce, and later, a BD at the University of Manchester. He trained for the ministry at Hartley Victoria College, and served in the following circuits: Gateshead; London Mission (East); Farsley, Pudsey and Yeadon; Sheffield (North East); Middlesbrough; Chester-le-Street; London (Tooting); Peterlee; Stoke-on-Trent (Hanley, Trinity); Hull (Trinity); and Netherton. 

He was a member of several Connexional Committees. For many years, he served the Department of Christian Citizenship (now the Division of Social Responsibility) and the Ministerial Training Committee (now part of the Division of Ministries). He was also a member of the World Methodist Council (Family Life Committee). 

On retirement in 1971, Leonard lived in Dudley, where he was chairman of the Community Relations Council, and secretary of the Temperance Society. After nine years there, he moved to Southampton. In 1985, he went to live in Melton Mowbray, in order to be near to Margaret, his daughter. 

He was seen as a man with exceptional gifts, especially a fine mind and an ability to communicate. His contributions at house meetings and fellowships were much appreciated. He especially enjoyed being part of an ecumenical group, and made friendships with Christians of other denominations. He was a welcome preacher in the pulpits of the Melton Mowbray Circuit. He continued to exercise pastoral care for others, and was a diligent visitor, paying regular visits to people in hospital and in homes for the elderly. For a while he served as Circuit Local Preachers’ Tutor, nurturing and encouraging the “on trials”, and helping them with their studies. Among his other interests was Methodist history. He made a special study of Primitive Methodism, and contributed articles, which were published in the Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society. These included papers on ‘William Clowes in the North of England’ and ‘Hugh Bourne — A Bicentenary Reflection’. He also counted among his hobbies an interest in Wesleyana, Staffordshire pottery figures, and local history. Leonard will be much missed by his many friends in Methodism and beyond, as well as by his family. A widower since the death of his wife Florence (whom he married in 1936) he leaves a daughter Margaret, three sons, David, Paul and Peter, and thirteen grandchildren. He died on 9th February 1993 in the eighty-seventh year of his age and the sixtieth year of his ministry.

Family

Leonard was born on 6 December 1906 at Manchester, Lancashire, to parents Fred Thompson Brown, a brassfinisher, and Sarah Ann.

He married Florence Wain (1908-1978) in  the summer of 1936 in the Meridian Registration District, Warwickshire. Records identify four children.

  • Margaret L (b1937)
  • David M (b1939)
  • Paul T (b1939)
  • Peter (b1948)

Leonard died in February 1993 at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1934 Gateshead Bensham Rd
  • 1935 London M. East
  • 1936 Farsley &c
  • 1939 Sheffield NE
  • 1942 Middlesbrough
  • 1947 Chester le Street
  • 1950 London Tooting
  • 1954 London Wimbledon
  • 1956 Peterlee
  • 1958 Durham Coast
  • 1960 Stoke Hanley
  • 1965 Hull Trinity
  • 1968 Netherton
  • 1970 Dudley (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 1993/29

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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