Tribute paid to Revd Dr Kenneth Greet


Tribute has been paid to the Revd Dr Kenneth Greet, formerPresident and Secretary of the Methodist Conference, who diedyesterday. 

"Kenneth will be remembered with affection and with pride by theMethodist people," said the Revd Ruth Gee, current President of theMethodist Conference. "He was eloquent in speech, a fine preacher,a great orator and a prolific writer. All these gifts wereundergirded and enriched by his great personal faith and integrity.He was passionate about social justice and deeply committed toworking for peace, a commitment that was evident in every part ofhis life. He loved his family and he cared for and loved theMethodist people. Kenneth will be greatly missed, we thank God forhis life and witness which will continue to inspire and challengeus."

Born in 1918, Kenneth Gerald Greet entered presbyteral ministryin 1943. After training at Handsworth College, he held earlyappointments in Herefordshire and Ogmore and in 1947 was appointedto the Central Hall in Tonypandy. This attracted one of the largestcongregations in Wales and became well known for its extensiveprogramme of social work.

After seven years, Dr Greet was taken out of this appointment tobecome Secretary of the Christian Citizenship Department (DCC). Forthe next thirty years his base was at 1 Central Buildings,Westminster. In 1971, he succeeded Dr Eric Baker as Secretary ofthe Methodist Conference, a post which he held until 1984. Duringthis time, he was also elected President of the Conference1980-81.

Dr Greet has held a large number of key offices during hisministry: Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council, Chairman ofthe Executive of the British Council of Churches, member of theAssembly of the World Council of Churches, Chairman of theTemperance Council of the Christian Churches, Chairman of the WorldMethodist Council, Chairman of the European Methodist Youth Counciland President of the Methodist Peace Fellowship. On his retirement,Dr. Greet became Chairman of the Governors of Southlands College,seeing the college through its transition to become part ofRoehampton University.

He travelled widely during his ministry, preaching and lecturingregularly. His most notable appointments include delivering theBeckly Lecture, the Willson Lecture (Kansas City) and the CatoLecture (Sydney).

Dr Greet wrote a number of books on subjects ranging from ethicsand morality to marriage, love and the Spirit as well ascontributing a monthly article to the Methodist Recorder for over25 years. He broadcast frequently on radio and television and helddoctorates from the universities of Surrey andOhio.  

"I interviewed Kenneth during the first Iraq War in 1990,"reflects the Revd Richard Atkins, Sunday presenter for BBC RadioGloucestershire."Although very busy at the time he was happy togive me time for an interview at Treloyhan Manor Hotel in St Ives,where he was staying for a conference. I'd been in Circuit only ashort time and was also working for BBC Radio Cornwall. Ourconversation took place in Kenneth's hotel room. He was a verygracious man, clear in his views, prepared to stand up for a causeeven when he was in the minority, as he was at that time, beingagainst the war. Over the years I've interviewed hundreds of churchand faith leaders, yet even after a quarter of a century I stillremember that interview - Kenneth Greet was that sort of man."


said the Revd Richard Atkins.