OSBORNE, William 1891 - 1962

Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1962, page 202

Born at Newlyn, Cornwall, in 1891. His family moved to London in his infancy, and he received his early education at St Olave’s Grammar School in Bermondsey.

As a schoolboy he cherished a desire to enter the Ministry, and in order to equip himself he left school for a period of special preparation at Newquay. He was trained at Wesley College, Headingley, and afterwards served with distinction for many years in East Anglia and Cumberland.

After being on the Reserve List for one year, his circuits were Mid-Norfolk Mission, Daventry, Hunts Mission. Louth, Nottingham, Peterborough, Alston, Penrith, Bury St Edmunds, Gainsborough and Aylsham.

His fine library indicated his scholarly interests, and throughout his life he was a student of Greek, Latin and Hebrew. A subject which he found of absorbing interest was world politics, and he was an authority on the subject of British history.

At all times his keen scholarship and wide interests were harnessed to his preaching ministry. He always found complete satisfaction and fulfilment in his work. He gave himself to the tasks of administration with eagerness and thoroughness, he visited with zeal, and preached with an understanding of his people’s needs which was drawn from a prayerful experience of faith.

He was a man of powerful physique, and his strength was ever equal to the exacting demands of scattered rural areas, particularly in Cumberland where he maintained his ministry in the worst of weather conditions by walking great distances to meet with the isolated Societies.

In retirement, failing health prevented him from active participation in circuit activities and deep sorrow overshadowed the closing months of his life. But nothing lessened his certainty of the faith which he had spent his life in proclaiming.

He died on 6 January 1962 at the age of seventy-one years, in the forty-eighth year of his ministry. 

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1962

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