Parker, Walter Charles Trevelyan (1865-1913)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by H.J.T.

Our church has lost a strong man in the death of the Rev. W. C. Trevelyan Parker, and at the all too early age of forty-eight. He was the son of well-known Primitive Methodists in the city of  anchester. His father, a well-known official and able local preacher, attained the vice-chair of the Conference. Mr. Parker was educated for the scholastic profession, but on the threshold of his manhood entered the ranks of the ministry. 

From the first he stood out among his brethren. He was naturally a leader of men. His tall gentlemanly figure always arrested attention in any gathering he attended. His mental alertness was remarkable. He saw for himself. He had marked individuality. He viewed things in the light of connexional history and usage and wide reading and observation. His courage never failed. He expressed his views without fear or favour. Neither convenience nor friends were consulted when principles were at stake, or when he thought that they were. Those who could not always follow him felt his absolute sincerity and brave tenacity. He took his stand, and then with fine cheerfulness paid the price. His outlook on life was sane, sympathetic, and Christian. 

The general progress of the race captured his thought and commanded all his energy. He loved to fall in line with the great causes of ecclesiastical, economic, and political freedom. He was a democratic labour leader, an educationalist, an out-and-out Freechurchman, and above all else a convinced and enthusiastic Christian. In every town in which he laboured he right away took a leading part in the great questions of Church and State. He had the pen of the ready writer. For many years he sat at the reporters’ table in Conferences and public gatherings, and did much review work for several publishing houses in London and the provinces. Secretaryships of various sorts fell into his hands, and were always filled with care of detail and far-seeing statesmanship. 

His chief interdenominational work was in the Christian Endeavour movement. He was a delegate to the Burnley Conference, and took a leading part in adapting the movement to our Connexional polity, He was among the first of our ministers to stand for Christian Endeavour in the British C.E. Union. For many years he served on its council, and at the time of his death was secretary of its Holiday Homes Committee. 

As a minister and superintendent he had wide experience in specially difficult circuits. Great tasks allured him. Difficulties were things to overcome. He faced problems with the cheer of a strong man. He was a student, an able preacher, and most sympathetic pastor and friend. He travelled at Norwich, Edinburgh, Ramsgate, Darlington, Chippenham, Harwich, Holloway, Hyde, and Redhill. 

His home life was singularly happy. The family altar was there, with the gracious atmosphere of New Testament religion. His widow and children will cherish the sacred memory of almost an ideal husband and father. Never robust in health, he came through several serious illnesses, and his friends saw with sad concern that his days were all but numbered. He never complained but kept to his tasks with characteristic fortitude and inspiring Christian resignation. A few nights before his death he attended the Endeavour, and presided over a business meeting although his speech was almost inaudible. No wonder that at the funeral service the ministers and leading Free Church people of Redhill sat in the crowded congregation—the Revs. G. Trusler, J. Day Thompson, J. Welford, J. Richardson, H. J. Taylor, and his colleague, G. Albert Price, taking part, while at Manchester where his remains were interred, there were marked and widespread evidences of admiration and profoundest regret, the Revs. A. Wilkes, H. A. Steen, H. F. Johnson, J. Fleming, J. Yearsley, H. Ross, and J. Watkin taking part. The tenderest sympathy of hosts of friends goes out to the stricken home and those who loved him for his worth’s sake.

Family

Walter was born in early 1865 at Manchester, Lancashire, to parents William Emsley Parker, a stay manufacturer, and Nancy Kearton. He was baptised on 12 October 1865 at Higher Ardwick PM Church, Manchester, Lancashire.

He married Florence Ada Curtis (1872-1949) in the summer of 1893 in the Norwich Registration District, Norfolk. Census returns identify six children.

  • Alice Julia Curtis (1895-1986) – married Herbert George Brewer, a PM minister          
  • Dorothy Nancy Curtis (1898-1971) – married Joseph Ernest Evans, a coach builder (1939), in 1924       
  • Florence Edith Curtis (1899-1970)  – a school teacher (1939); married Henry C Francis in 1946          
  • William Trevelyan Curtis (1901-1956)     
  • Beatrice May Curtis (1904-1999)  – married Anderson R Bell in 1938
  • Phyllis Kearton Curtis (1909-2000) – a clerk (1939); married Errington J Stone in 1945

Walter died on 27 February 1913 at Redhill, Surrey.

Circuits

  • 1889 Andover
  • 1890 Norwich II
  • 1893 Edinburgh
  • 1897 Ramsgate
  • 1898 Darlington
  • 1900 Chippenham
  • 1902 Dovercourt
  • 1905 Stroud Green
  • 1908 Newton  & Hyde
  • 1911 Redhill

References

PM Minutes  1913/33

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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