Dr Pauline Webb

It is with sadness that the death has been announced ofthe former Vice-President of the Methodist Conference (1965-1966),Dr Pauline Webb.

Pauline Webb died on 27 April, she was a campaigner, journalistand broadcaster and missionary publicist.

She was born in London, in 1927, the daughter of the formerMethodist missionary to Nigeria, the Revd Leonard F. Webb. Paulinewas educated at King's College, London and joined the MethodistMissionary Society as Youth Education Secretary (1952-1954) andworked as area secretary for the Caribbean (1973-1979).

Pauline was a pioneer for Women's Ministry, raising the issue ofwomen's ordination at the 1959 Methodist Conference. She was aparticipant in the Anglican-Methodist Conversations and the firstwoman to be elected an officer of the Central Committee of theWorld Council of Churches where, as Vice-Moderator (1968-1975), she played a leading role in its programme to combat racismand was thrown out of South Africa* for her outspoken views.

She was the first secretary of the Board of Lay Training, (1967-1973) and organiser of Religious Broadcasting for theBBC World Service, 1979-1987, as well as a regular contributor toPause for Thought on Radio 2 and Thought for the Day on Radio4.

Pauline undertook extensive travel and met with leadingChristians throughout the world, chronicled in her autobiographicalWorld-Wide Webb (2006).  Her later years were spent as aresident in Wembley (her birth place) and most recently in 2016move to The Meadow residential care home in Muswell Hill, operated by MHA.  (Pauline opened The Meadow in 1966 inher Methodist Vice Presidential year - 50 years on she took upresidence there.)

Reflecting on the tremendous impact Pauline had on Methodismlocal and world-wide, the Revd Dr Lord Leslie Griffiths said: 
"Pauline achieved recognition well beyond the confines ofMethodism. She directed my feet to Haiti and I can testify to therespect in which she was held there and in the Caribbean generally.I also saw at first hand the colleagueship she enjoyed at the BBC.Hers was, indeed, a world wide web."

 Pauline At LP60th (2)

* Pauline was told to leave South Africa in the 70s. This ordealwas shared in her book, "World Wide Webb" . What it says is this:(p193-94):
"So I had to go the office of South Africa House to requestthat the ban on my travelling  to South Africa be removed andthat I be permitted to travel to attend the Churches'Conference.".....Then almost exactly 20 years after I had beenrefused permission to enter Johannesburg airport , I arrived thereagain., this time to join a long queue at the passport desk for asearching interview about the reason for coming and a warning thatI must not out-stay the duration of my visa."