Sanders, Thomas William (1908-1984)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS WILLIAM SANDERS: born at Shildon, County Durham on 20th November 1908. Educated at Timothy Hackworth School, Shildon he trained for the ministry at Hartley Victoria College and served as a probationer minister in Southampton, St. Dennis, Kidderminster and Wheatley Hill. His first circuit as a married man was Camelford and Wadebridge and he later travelled in Southampton (Swaythling Hall), Gateshead (South), Liverpool, London (Walthamstow), London (Leysian Mission), Redruth, and Bradford, finally retiring to the Newquay Circuit. 

A man of deep and unshakeable convictions he was primarily an evangelist with a particularly effective ministry among young people who respected and responded to his passion for souls and his uncompromising stand on the social implications of the Gospel reflected, for example, in his passionate advocacy of total abstinence. His work in the field of youth was justly recognised when he was elected President of the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs in which capacity he was the first President to conduct the Sunday service of the M.A.Y.C. in the Albert Hall. 

Service with the Armed Forces before and after D-Day, work with a multi-racial community centre, the building of a new church and the long successful superintendency of a great Mission are some facets of a fruitful and faithful ministry. 

Though he became a Supernumerary minister he never “sat down”. Back in his beloved Cornwall and despite acute problems of health he preached whilst he was able and served the community by the founding of a signally successfully Probus Club whilst maintaining a life-long, absorbing interest in cricket. He valued beyond words the loving support of his wife, Olive, during his career and perhaps her most treasured souvenir will be the Disciples’ Roll which he took with him all over the country with the names of a great many young people he had won for Christ. 

He died on 17th September 1984 in the seventy-sixth year of his age and the fiftieth year of his ministry. 


Thomas was born on 20 November 1908 at Shildon, Co. Durham, to parents John George Sanders, a bricklayer, and Edith Shields.

He married Olive Proud (1909-1989) in the summer of 1838 in the Durham Western Registration District, Co. Durham. Birth Records identify one child.

  • Eva H (b1942) – married David Watkin in 1964

Thomas died on 17 September 1984 at Newquay, Cornwall.


  • Hartley
  • 1934 President’s List
  • 1937 Thornley
  • 1938 Camelford &c
  • 1941 Southampton
  • 1944 Gateshead South
  • 1951 Liverpool Grove St
  • 1955 London Waltham
  • 1959 Leysian Mission
  • 1968 Redruth
  • 1970 Gt Horton
  • 1974 Newquay (S)


Methodist Minutes 1985/67

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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