Home Back

Wesleyan Conference President

Portrait of Charles Garrett

The name of the Rev. Charles Garrett, the newly elected President of the Wesleyan Conference, C. Mr. Garrett was born at Shaftesbury, Dorset, on Nov. 22, 1825. He was educated in a private school at that place. He was remarkable in his boyhood for the interest he took is public affairs. The Anti-Corn-Law League was then a conspicuous power in the country, and at the age of seventeen he became secretary for one of its divisions. In 1840 Mr. Garrett signed the temperance pledge, after hearing a lecture on the subject by the late Mr. John Cassell, founder of the well-known publishing firm. In 1844 he removed to Hitchin, and in 1845 began to preach. In 1847 he was recommended as a candidate for the Wesleyan ministry by the Bedford and Northampton District Meeting. After being a student in the Wesleyan Theological Institution at Richmond for three years, he was appointed to the Mildenhall Circuit in 1850. His following circuits were Ely, Louth, Malton, Rochdale, Preston, Hull (George-yard), Manchester (Gravel-lane), and Manchester (Cheetham-hill). Thence he went to Liverpool, and, after labouring in the Cranmer Circuit for three years, he became superintendent of the Liverpool Mission, which is generously sustained by many merchants who are not Wesleyans. Mr. Garrett has been constant and unflinching advocate of total abstinence for many years, and he has been instrumental in saving many a drunkard and his family. During his residence in Preston, the Lancashire operatives went through the deprivations of the Cotton Famine; and Mr. Garrett had the care of the undenominational operatives in that town, and was very successful in raising funds for their relief. Properly speaking, the Cocoa and Coffee Houses movement originated with him. He recommended the scheme in a speech which he delivered in Liverpool at one of Mr. Moody's gatherings. Mr. Moody was at once taken with the suggestion, and went round among the gentlemen present and obtained guarantees sufficient to start the movement before the meeting broke up. Mr. Garrett has intense sympathy with the working class and the poor, and they crowd to hear him preach wherever he goes. Although, as he told the Conference in his opening address, he has never been either the superintendent of a circuit or the chairman of a district, he is showing great natural aptitude for business in the presidential chair.
Our Portrait is from a photograph by Messrs. Appleton and Co., of Bradford.

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2257—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, August 5, 1882, p.140