Taunton, Raymond (1887-1958)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

RAYMOND TAUNTON: born at Coventry in 1887. He received his education at Coventry and Birmingham University. After a short period of teaching he was called to the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church in 1917, and served in Horsham, Kennington and Battersea, Hull, Shooters Hill, Northampton, Newcastle upon Tyne, Finchley, Swindon, and Bristol. In 1949 he went to the Petersfield and Haslemere circuit, where he retired in 1953 but continued as active supernumerary  at the Midhurst church, preaching regularly in churches in and outside the circuit.

As a preacher he did not fit into any pattern. He was as original in the content of his message as he was in his style; he copied no man. But his mind stored with the treasures of literature and sensitive to the Gospel’s relevance to all life, his love of the beautiful, whether in character or things, his wonderful mastery of words and their meanings, his irrepressible humour, and above all his optimistic faith, all combined to make his pulpit ministry stimulating and outstanding. 

It is only natural that a man, with his gifts, should seek to extend his ministry through the medium of the pen as well as the pulpit, and he was a regular contributor to the religious press. It was always a tonic to be in the company of one whose mind and spirit were so wide open to the enjoyment of literature, art, music, architecture, nature, and character. The world, people, and things had a way of coming alive in his presence. His life, at all times, sparkled with gaiety, with light, with love, and with faith, because he was more sure than most men of the triumphant adequacy of God. It is not surprising that wherever his ministry took him he left behind a legacy of love. It was fitting that a mind and spirit so alive, should not experience the chafing restrictions that age can sometimes bring. 

On 19th March 1958, after a brief illness and at the age of seventy, he passed quietly into the presence of God, in the forty-first year of his ministry.

Family

Raymond was born on 6 November 1887 at Coventry, Warwickshire, to parents Joseph, a master baker (1891), and Sarah Ann.

Before entering the ministry Raymond was an elementary school teacher (1911).

He married Mabel Dora Fisher (1901-1990) in the spring of 1924 in the Southwark Registration District, London. Birth Records identify two children.

  • Barbara (b1926) – married Colin Drury in 1947
  • Sheila (b1930)

Raymond died on 19 March 1958 at Petersfield, Hampshire.

Circuits

  • 1917 Horsham
  • 1918 Kennington Park
  • 1922 Hull III
  • 1926 Shooters Hill
  • 1930 Northampton II
  • 1934 Newcastle Central
  • 1938 London Finchley
  • 1941 Swindon, bath Road
  • 1944 Bristol Kings
  • 1949 Petersfield &c
  • 1953 Petersfield

References

Methodist Minutes 1958/190

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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