Champion, Thomas Henry (1874-1962)
Thomas was born in 1874 at Ramsbury, Wiltshire, to parents John and Elizabeth. John, a labourer in a biscuit factory (1891), was a local preacher for sixty years.
When Thomas was two, his family moved to Reading. At the Cumberland Road Church in Reading, Thomas became Secretary of a Band of Hope three hundred members strong and a Sunday school teacher. After a short time as a local preacher, Thomas was recommended for the ministry and in 1897, he entered Hartley College.
Before entering the ministry, Thomas worked as a labourer in a biscuit factory (1891), in a grocer’s shop and in a clerical role.
Thomas served as District Temperance, Orphanage and Sunday School Secretary. In Manchester, he served as secretary to the Primitive Methodist Council. He also served as secretary to the Examination Board at Hartley College. In 1930 he became secretary of Hartley College, a post he held for fifteen years.
In 1940, Thomas retired to Southport where, through the war years, he ministered to a little church on the northern edge of the town. After the death of Bertha, Thomas went to live at “Cliff Dene”, a Methodist Home for the Aged. He continued to work with unabated vigour, writing a weekly article for a northern newspaper, rubbing up his Greek and German, and preaching with great acceptance and regularity in the Whitstable and Hearne Bay circuit until a few months before his death.
Thomas married Bertha Maria Winifred Pinhorn (1882-1959) in early 1905 at Lewisham, London. Census returns identify two sons.
- Charles John Thomas (1905-1939)
- George Henry James (1909-1989) – a schoolmaster (1962)
Thomas died on 10 November 1962 at Ham Shades Lane Railway Crossing, Whitstable, Kent.
- 1899 Forest Hill
- 1904 Norwich III
- 1911 Paisley
- 1915 Kilburn
- 1919 Manchester VII
- 1923 Manchester IV
- 1926 Bury I
- 1933 Skelmersdale
- 1937 Lowton
- 1940 Southport (S)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927/150
Methodist Minutes 1963/187
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers