Wagstaffe, Reginald Thomas (1895-1976)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

Reginald Thomas Wagstaffe: born in Lowestoft on 6th June 1895. He was a son of the manse and, after serving in France as a radio operator in the First World War, offered for the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1919. After a pre-collegiate year in the London Mission (South-East) he entered Hartley College in 1921. He served in the following circuits: Tranent, Glasgow II, Nelson, Kelsale, Beccles, Loddon and Bungay, Bury St. Edmunds, Sheffield (North-East), Sheffield (Ecclesall), Rawtenstall, Martham, Sheffield (Carver Street), Winsford, Worksop, and Doncaster (North-East). He became a supernumerary in 1963 and settled in Norwich. 

The range of his ministry brought a wide variety of friends in many places. In 1928 he married Letitia Jardine and together they found joy in acting as host and hostess in Methodist Guild Guest Houses and in conducting tours to their beloved Austrian Tirol. He was so well known in Landeck that the town presented him with a specially minted gold medal. Throughout his ministry he was a keen supporter of the Scout Movement.

He was particularly interested in hymnody and, at the time of his death, was preparing a paper on John Wesley’s translations of German hymns which he was to give to the Wesley Historical Society. He was a man of independent spirit, plain in speech and forthright in his views but there was never lacking an innate graciousness. 

Following the death of his wife in 1974, he confessed at times to a sense of desolation, but his courage and his faith in Christ carried him through. He continued his preaching and other activities and took a full part in church and circuit meetings and in such groups as the Fellowship of the Kingdom. He was indefatigable to the end and died suddenly on the doorstep of his home on 3rd March 1976 in the eighty-first year of his age and the fifty-fourth year of his ministry.

Family

Reginald was born on 6 June 1895 at Lowestoft, Suffolk, to parents Thomas Anthony Wagstaffe, a PM minister, and Emily Elizabeth Brown.

Before entering the ministry Reginald worked as a clerk (1911).

He married Letitia Jardine (1905-1974) in 1928 at Glasgow, Lanarkshire.

Reginald died on 3 March 1976 at Norwich, Norfolk.

Circuits

  • 1920 London Mission SE
  • 1921 Hartley
  • 1923 Tranent
  • 1926 Glasgow II
  • 1927 Nelson & Caerphilly
  • 1929 Kelsale
  • 1933 Eccles
  • 1937 Bury St Edmunds
  • 1939 Sheffield NE
  • 1945 Sheffield Eccl
  • 1948 Rawtenstall
  • 1950 Martha
  • 1952 Sheffield Car
  • 1956 Winsford
  • 1957 Worksop
  • 1958 Doncaster NE
  • 1963 Norwich (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 1976/92 ?????

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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