GRIFFITH-JONES, WILLIAM (1895 - 1961), Independent minister and administrator

Name: William Griffith-jones
Date of birth: 1895
Date of death: 1961
Spouse: Annie Kathleen Griffith-Jones (née Speakman)
Parent: Mary Jones
Parent: David Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: Independent minister and administrator
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Evan David Jones

Born at Deiniolen, Caernarfonshire, 2 November 1895, the son of David and Mary Jones, members of Ebenezer Independent Chapel. The ministers at Ebenezer, J. Dyfnallt Owen and E. Wyn Jones, had a great influence on the young Griffith-Jones. When the family moved to Liverpool, he joined the English church in Great George St. During World War I, he served for two and a half years in Salonica, 1916-19. After his military service, he began to preach and also studied at Manchester University and Lancashire College, a theological college, between 1919 and 1924. Griffith-Jones was ordained in July 1924 at Freemantle Congregational Church, Southampton, where he served as minister until 1936. Besides his work in the church, he was active with the Free Churches and wrote for the press. From 1936 to 1951, he was the minister at the new Emmanuel Church in West Wickham. He became prominent in the Congregational Union of England and Wales and served on the board of the London Missionary Society. He was elected chairman of the London Congregational Union in 1949. He was the Moderator of the Welsh Congregational Churches from 1951 to 1961 and developed a close relationship with religious movements in Wales. At the same time, he was the chairman of the committee for maintaining the ministry with the Congregational Union of England. When he was elected chairman of the English Union in 1958, he became the third Welshman serving in Wales to be given that honour. As chairman, he delivered an address on 'The churches - their witness in the community'. He presided at the discussions which led to the union of Brecon Memorial College and the Congregational section of Carmarthen Presbyterian College; he was the first chairman of Swansea Memorial College.

Short in build, he had a lively mind and wide interests. He was also a powerful preacher, a careful administrator and an able chairman. He married Annie Kathleen Speakman, 10 September 1925, and they had a son and a daughter. He died 10 July 1961, after a year-long illness.


Published date: 2001

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