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The Revd David Newman: 1932-2016

Former headteacher who went on to train as a Baptist minister

David was born in Purley, Surrey on 4 May 1932, the youngest of three boys. Their father was a Civil Servant in the Board of Trade.

When he was three, the family moved to Leatherhead where he started school. The family worshipped at the local Congregational Church during the war years and David joined the Cubs and later the Scouts – the beginning of a life-long interest and involvement in the movement. His education continued as a boarder at Hurstpierpoint College, Sussex, and later when the family moved to Bristol after the war, at Clifton College.

He was baptised at Tyndale, Bristol in 1948 and worshipped there, singing in the choir, until moving once again in 1950 to Ruislip in Middlesex.

At that time he started his two-year National Service with the Non-Combatant Corps in the Royal Pioneers doing office-work.

Following this he went to Westminster College for teacher-training, qualifying in 1954. For two years, he taught general subjects in the same prep school in Leatherhead which he had attended as a boy until moving once again back to Bristol. He taught at St.Goar School for two years until buying it in 1959 and becoming Headmaster.

The following year he became engaged to Anne Taylor, a teacher at Clifton High School, and they were married in 1961 at St. Mary Redcliffe – Anne at that time being an Anglican.

After three years St. Goar closed due to lack of finance and the Newmans moved to Clevedon where David was in partnership in the prep school there. They were there until 1966 when it was realised the partnership was not working, and they moved to Ilkley, renting and later buying Ghyll Royd Prep School (60 day-boys and 36 boarders). During this time Iain (born 1966) and Stuart (born 1968) joined the family and David and Anne combined the demanding roles of parenthood with those of Headmaster and Matron/Housekeeper. During their time in Ilkley they joined Ilkley Baptist Church and were active members there.

Both in Bristol and in Yorkshire, David continued his great interest in Scouting and became Chairman of the West Yorkshire County Scout Council.

Retiring from Ghyll Royd in 1979, David bought a men’s outfitters shop in the town which he ran for five years. Released from the demands of the school, he took up Lay Preaching which led to his being accepted by Northern College for training as a Baptist minister. He was a part-time student commuting between Ilkley and Manchester before moving across the Pennines to Simonstone, near Burnley when he became student-pastor at Sabden. 

He was awarded the Certificate in Religious Studies from Manchester University in 1988 and ordained at Sabden and then inducted to the joint pastorates of Sabden and Padiham in October of that year. During his years of service before retiring in 1998 he was a Governor in a Burnley school, served on the Council of Churches in Lancashire and was the Baptist representative on the N.W. Methodist Synod.

Retirement brought new challenges – Moderator of the Baptist church in Nelson and part-time Chaplain at Burnley General Hospital.

In 2005, in order to be nearer their sons – by this time married and with families of their own – David and Anne moved to Daventry in Northamptonshire. They both became active members at Daventry Methodist Church and David became a local preacher in the Methodist Circuit. Sadly, ill-health overtook them both, and firstly Anne and then David, shortly before the end, moved into a care home. He passed away there on 26 April 2016.



Related: Death of former Ilkley headmaster (Ilkley Gazette)



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