Mortimer, Edward Thomas (1906-2001)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

EDWARD THOMAS MORTIMER: born in East London on 3rd October 1906. An only child, descended from Huguenot weavers, Ted’s first remembered experience of worship was with the ‘Out and Out Misison’. He stood on a table to sing while his father played the organ and his mother recited. After service in the Boys’ Brigade and working for the Seamen’s Insurance Company, Ted entered Hartley College in 1931, and became a Probationer in 1934 serving (as did many others in that year) on the President’s List. 

Ted’s first duties were at the Seamen’s Mission in Poplar, and he influenced many young people who grew under his spiritual guidance. It was there that he met Vera and they shared over sixty years of married life together. They had three sons: Kendrick, Edwin and Leslie. 

Ted was ordained in 1938 at the Hull Conference. He served in the following circuits: Salisbury (Dews Rd), London Mission (Plumstead), Stockton (Brunswick), Downham Market, Rawtenstall, London Mission (South East), Derby (South), Watford, London (Waltham Abbey and Hertford), March and Chatteris. He retired to Southend, but continued to serve the churches both as a preacher and exercising pastoral care. 

Ted was known as the ‘pedalling parson’ and later his car was named ‘Jehu’s chariot’ as he took preachers to their appointments. Ted was devoted to the circuit system, a quiet, yet devout and inwardly fervent Methodist leader, he shunned superintendency. His equable nature brought calm to the most heated business meeting. He combined an impish sense of humour with a scholarly approach to sermon preparation. He read widely. He brought the Old Testament to life with his preaching, and could adapt the sermon on occasions such as when a hundred teenagers unexpectedly arrived at evening service having been invited by one of the young men of the church. Raised in the Primitive Connexion, Ted remained loyal to its tradition of song and exercised his voice in hymnody all his life. 

In later years Ted developed Alzheimer’s disease. Vera visited him faithfully for many years in the hospital where he was known as ‘Father Ted’ and where he was well-loved, for even in severe dementia his Christian character remained evident. He died on 22nd September 2001 in the ninety-fifth year of his age and the sixty-eighth year of his ministry.

Family

Ted was born on 3 October 1906 at Poplar, London, to parents Edward Thomas Mortimer, a cellar man (1911), and Louisa Norris.

He married Vera Eileen Dunnett (1916-2010) in the summer of 1939 in the Downham Registration District, Norfolk. Birth records identify three children.

  • Edwin S (b1942)
  • Kendrick W (b1942)
  • Leslie I (b abt1944)

Ted died in Q3, 2001 Rochford Hospital, Essex. He was buried at St Margarets Cemetery, Rochester, Kent.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1934 President’s List
  • 1937 Salisbury Dews
  • 1939 London M Plumstead
  • 1941 Stockton Bruns
  • 1944 Downton Market
  • 1945 Rawtenstall
  • 1948 London M.S.E.
  • 1950 Derby S
  • 1955 Watford
  • 1962 London Waltham Abbey
  • 1967 March &c
  • 1974 Southend (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 2002/47

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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