SACKETT, Alfred Barrett (O.B.E.) 1862 - 1951

Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1951, page 137

Born of Kentish stock on 6th July 1862. His father worked under the Rev, Charles Garrett in the Manchester Lay Home Mission where, while still in his teens, Alfred became the leader of the young men’s class, a Local Preacher, and a candidate for the ministry.

Trained at Richmond College, he entered upon his ministry in 1889, when he was sent to London as chaplain to the Guards.

Thirty years of his ministry were spent among sailors and soldiers. His conspicuous success as a padre led to his call to the Gibraltar garrison, where he served for fifteen years. Conditions on the Rock provided no accommodation for the thousands of men when on leave so, single-handed, he established The Welcome Home, where many tired bodies were to find comfort and many weary souls found peace. When The Welcome was full to capacity, he turned his church pews into beds, and when the church could hold no more he took men into his own home, where they slept on his study floor and even on the stairs.

For his work among men of the Royal Navy and the Army he was decorated with the O.B.E. There followed a fruitful period of service at Portsmouth and Shorncliffe Camp, where, as at Strood, Colchester, and Leeds, his ministry was marked by his passion for evangelism. During retirement, while living with his daughter at Rochester, Alfred Sackett commenced a remarkable ministry, which continued even after he was stricken with the illness which took him from us.

His certainty of God was the root from which his gracious life and his amazing ministry flowered. At eighty-eight years of age he was still canvassing for Jesus, in which holy occupation his familiar figure was seen distributing tracts to cinema queues and visiting business houses and homes in the city.

He became superintendent of the Sunday-school and attended the Youth Club regularly.

To enter his home was soon to discover the place where memory of his gracious wife and pride in the achievements of his son and daughter made eventide all he desired. He was in his eighty-ninth year when he died on Sunday the 28th January 1951, and had served Methodism for nearly sixty-two years.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1951

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