WILKES, William Morley Powell (B.A., B.D.) 1875 - 1962
Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1962, page 202
Born at Thame in 1875. A son of the manse, he was educated at Woodhouse Grove School, Yorkshire, later spending some years as a master of that school and at Kent College, Canterbury.
On acceptance for the Ministry he trained at Richmond College. He was a keen sportsman all his life and a very competent pianist and singer. In 1901 he was appointed to the staff of the Central College, Batticoloa. Ceylon, and later became an outstanding Principal of Jaffna Central College, where it is officially recorded that he was ” a great Principal whose administrative ability and grasp of educational matters assisted its growth and development”. He set the college on such a footing that it has always been one of the foremost secondary schools in the island.
He also had a very wide public influence, particularly among the professional classes in the Northern Province, many members of which were his old scholars. Several of the Tamil ministers in the Ceylon Methodist Church were former scholars of his.
Besides his gifts as a teacher and preacher he was a good builder and administrator.
Returning to the home Ministry. in 1916, he served in the Dunstable, Glossop, St Austell, Bristol, Wellington (Somerset), Okehampton, Jersey, Epworth, Manningtree, Ipswich and Presteigne Circuits. In his preaching he was ever the teacher ; his dedicated scholarship found its fullness in the Christian faith, and its purpose in discovering and proclaiming the ” truth as it is in Christ Jesus”.
He especially revealed the range and accuracy of his knowledge in fraternals and in classes for biblical and theological study.
He retired in 1950 but gave much appreciated help to the Penzance Circuit for two years. He then went to live in Chippenham, where he continued to preach until he was eighty-three.
He died on 9 January 1962, in the eighty-seventh year of his age and the sixty-first of his ministry.
©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1962