Fleet, Wifred Fletcher M.A., B.D. (1905-1988)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILFRED FLETCHER FLEET, T.D., M.A., B.D.: born in Bilston, Staffordshire, on 20th February 1905 and educated at Widnes Secondary School. He received his training for the ministry at Hartley Victoria College and studied in the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and London prior to service in the following circuits: Glasgow (Pollokshaws), Runcorn, Harrow and Northwood, Hoylake and West Kirby, Southport (North) and London (Highgate). He also served briefly in two American churches. During the Second World War he served as Chaplain to H.M. Forces, and later in the Territorial Army, winning the Territorial Decoration.

He was essentially an academic and a preacher. A most able linguist gaining a first in French, specializing in Hebrew: and Arabic, he was good at Greek and Latin, and in later years tackled German, Italian and Spanish. He counted it a privilege indeed to be able to spend time in Alexandria and Jerusalem when Chaplain to the Forces, and when at Muswell Hill he was Chairman of the Building Committee responsible for Chester House. 

Due to ill health he was obliged to retire early, and with his wife Doris spent a happy and prolonged retirement in Torquay, and was thrilled with the creation of the Methodist/U.R.C. Central Church there. Even when he was more infirm and his sight began to fail he was always ready to give visitors a conducted tour explaining the history and theology of the new church. He was Vice-Chairman of the Torbay Diabetic Association.

During these latter years he continued to have much joy from preaching, examining, translating, bridge, cooking and cricket. Though at an early stage he was set on a purely academic career, the call to the ministry won the day, a calling to which he responded with loyalty and with love. He passed away peacefully in Cambridge on 8th October 1988 in the eighty-fourth year of his age and the sixty-second year of his ministry.

Family

Wilfred was born on 20 February 1905 at Bilston, Staffordshire, to parents Thomas, a work manager at sheet iron manufacturer (1911), and Emily Jane.

He married Doris Mason Robinson (1902-1985) in the summer of 1930 in the Prescot Registration District, Lancashire.

Wilfred died on 8 October 1988 at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1927 Rochdale
  • 1930 Glasgow Pollockshaw
  • 1933 Glasgow Cath
  • 1935 Runcorn
  • 1938 London, Harrow
  • 1940 Chaplain H.M. Forces
  • 1945 Hoylake &c
  • 1948 Southport N
  • 1955 London Highgate
  • 1962 Torquay (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 1989/51

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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