A dissolute and wasted life was transformed into one of the most effective preachers in the north of England in the eighteenth century. When William Grimshaw arrived at Haworth as the new parish minister, only a handful attended the church; within a few years over a thousand could be found at the service of communion. John Wesley once hoped that he would succeed him as leader of the Methodists, but Grimshaw’s unsparing work for the gospel meant that he died nearly thirty years before Wesley! This is the incredible story of an eccentric enthusiast for the Christian message.
Fred Perry has written two books based on research while Cropwood Fellow at the University of Cambridge Institute for Criminology. He was minister at Frizinghall Congregational Church, had a shared ministry and was later Moderator of Lister Hill Baptist Church, Leeds. Retiring on health grounds after fifteen years as an adviser with the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work, he became Hon. Secretary and trustee of the Leeds European Refugee Trust which was instrumental in bringing 500 refugees to Britain during the Bosnian war. Married for fifty years, he and Jean have four children, fourteen grandchildren, eight great grandchildren—and counting!
…Grimshaw had made up his mind to enter the ministry. Such a life was the best someone from his background could aspire to…’ He became one of the hunting, shooting, fishing and playing cards in the local hostelry, Church of England priests, quite common in his time. Only God had other ideas for his life! While staying firmly committed to the Church of England, he became an Evangelical preacher, friend to such as John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and many others. His remarkable story is told in this slim volume, of a useful size to slip into a pocket or bag, and packed with information that anyone wishing to travel to the places associated with William Grimshaw, will find invaluable. With sketch maps of the various localities, information about the things to see and excellent photographs, both old and new, this book is a joy for the arm-chair traveller, and a boon to those going into the area. GoodBookStall Review – 28/02/2005 – Mary Bartholomew