KEY, Harold (O.B.E.) 1904 - 1962

Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1962, page 210

Born at Doncaster in 1904. After a pre-collegiate year in the Mid-Norfolk Mission he entered Richmond College in 1926.

His early circuits were : Ipswich. Hastings and St Leonards. From 1940 to 1945 he was a most successful Chaplain to the Forces, first with the B.E.F., and later in the Middle East, where his work for candidates for the Ministry was especially rewarding.

At the end of the war he went for an interim period to Lytham St Annes, and then gave fine service in Bromley, the Doncaster Coalfields Mission and Harrogate.

In 1957 he was elected Chairman of the newly formed West Yorkshire District, where he quickly showed those outstanding gifts of friendliness and leadership which had previously made him such a beloved circuit minister. He was very much at home with Yorkshire folk, and as Chairman he knew intimately the ministers and their families, and the Churches and their people throughout the whole District. The younger ministers and the supernumeraries had a special place in his affections, and he was always a great encourager of those who were facing difficult tasks. He had an astonishing memory for people and their needs, and a great capacity for making friendships which deepened through the years.

He served the Church on many Connexional committees, but his work was not confined to his own loved Methodism ; he co-operated most happily with leaders of the Anglican and Free Churches, and shared fully in the civic life of the District. There was nothing narrowly ” professional about him ; he ministered with all his being, all his time and all his talents.

His confident and buoyant faith was contagious, and his love for people led them beyond himself to his Lord. Essentially an outgoing man, he lived in the lives of others, and shared to the full in their joys and sorrows.

His health had suffered as a result of his war service, and he died on 1 March 1962, after an operation, in the fifty-eighth year of his age and the thirty-third of his ministry.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1962

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