Taylor, Harold Gregory (1897-1989)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HAROLD GREGORY TAYLOR: born on 8th April 1897 at Faringdon, the son of the late Rev Walter L Taylor, Primitive Methodist minister and Mrs S Taylor, and educated at the Bishop’s School, Salisbury. He later entered the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church and received his theological training at Hartley College, Manchester. 

All but one of his appointments were at holiday resorts; these demanded a strong pulpit ministry which he was well able to offer. His stay in most of these appointments was far longer than the then normal period: Filey, Bournemouth, Portland, Weymouth and Weston-super-Mare, and this was followed by an outstanding ministry at Clacton-on-Sea, where he served in the war years and remained for twelve years. 

During the war he was the only Free Church minister remaining in the town, due to evacuation. He served on many committees, including sea defence, library and education, to name but a few. He was also Chaplain to HM Forces stationed there and many men and women have much cause to be grateful to Mr and Mrs Taylor for the welcome and care given to them both at church and in the manse. 

He then moved to Cleethorpes (Mill Road) where his church had a membership of over 400 and a Sunday School of over 600. His final appointment was at Banbury. On retirement he and his wife returned to live at Clacton-on-Sea. 

His was a strong and independent disposition and he would fearlessly contend for what he believed to be right. He made many friends in every circuit both within and outside the church and he loved the fellowship of the ministry, which meant so much to him. Such was his independence that, when his wife died in 1971 and it was proposed that he should reside with his son and daughter-in-law, he insisted on a self-contained flat. 

In 1972 he moved to Saltash, Cornwall. He settled quickly and happily in the town and was soon a familiar figure in the community. His daily walk around the town, up to the day before his death, made him countless friends with his happy manner, for he had a word with practically everybody and his walk was almost a pastoral pilgrimage. He preached until early in 1989 and shared in the Communion Service at Saltash a few weeks before he died. He will be a legend in the town for many years to come and will not be forgotten. 

He died suddenly and peacefully in his home on 3rd September 1989 in the ninety-third year of his age and the sixty-eighth year of his ministry.

Family

Gregory was born on 8 April 1897 at Farringdon, Berkshire, to parents Walter Louis Taylor, a PM minister, and Sarah Mitchell.

He married Constance May Wheeler (1896-1971) on 2 July 1926 at Reading, Berkshire. Birth records identify one child.

  • John Samuel G. (1928-1994)

Gregory died on 3 September 1989 at Saltash, Cornwall.

Circuits

  • 1920 Filey
  • 1921 Hartley
  • 1923 Bournemouth I
  • 1925 Portland
  • 1926 Weymouth
  • 1932 Weston-Super-Mare
  • 1937 Clacton on Sea
  • 1949 Cleethorpes
  • 1956 Banbury
  • 1962 Saltash (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1990/44

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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