Rev. William Newns
Article extracted from 'The Aldersgate Magazine' ca. 1912
REV. WILLIAM NEWNS was born at Crudgington, in Shropshire, December 15th 1850. This village was on the Hadnall Circuit plan. At services held in the house of Mr. James Tait, and under the labours of the Rev. W. Wright and Mr. Thomas Growcott, Mr. Newns received his earliest religious impressions; but it was on the 31st of July, 1864, at a camp-meeting conducted by the Rev. T. Bramall, that he was led to accept Christ as his Saviour. He immediately joined the Church and became an active worker. In 1866 he was put on the plan, and his services were soon in constant demand.
Removing to Preston Brockhurst in 1868, he met Rev. Joseph Ferguson, who greatly assisted him and directed his studies. Recommended for the Ministry by the Hadnall Circuit in 1874, he was sent to Chippenham, and has since laboured at Swansea, Ponlypool, Redruth, Brynmawr, Calne (a second time), Tredegar, Bristol 5th, Rhosymedre, Macclesfield, Bolton 2nd, and Douglas. He is now on the Halifax 3rd station.
Mr. Newns is a strong man physically, well built, and robust; intellectually his chief characteristics are strong common-sense, clear vision, and sound judgment. Large-hearted, genial and unassuming in manner, Christian charily shines out in all his ways and sweetens his intercourse with men, so that he readily wins and holds affection.
As a worker he is a quiet plodder; he knows what he wants to accomplish, and sets himself whole-heartedly to his task. His work is inspired with steady purpose, and pursued with complete devotion and untiring energy. An all-round man, none of the multifarious duties of a minister find him wanting.
As a preacher Mr. Newns possesses considerable homiletical skill. He carefully prepares his sermons; there is nothing slip-shod or uncertain about his message; his hearers are never left in doubt as to what he believes and wishes to teach; he is thoroughly evangelical and practical, and never fails to proclaim the Evangel, or to set forth Christ as the only Saviour of men.
As a pastor he knows his people, and seizes every opportunity to visit them in their homes, where his genial presence, kindly words, earnest prayers, and practical sympathy make him a welcome visitor.
By his careful management and business ability Mr. Newns has helped to improve the financial position of the trust estates on many of his stations. Nothing under his charge is left to chance; every detail receives close attention.
He has been called to fill the positions of District Committee Secretary, District Sunday School Secretary and General Committee Delegate. District Meetings have on two occasions placed him in the chair. At Douglas he was selected by the Free Church Council to be their representative at the Annual Assembly in Swansea.
Mr. Newns has been cheered in his work by many conversions and some memorable revivals, especially at Marshfield in the Chippenham Circuit, and in Cornwall.
In his home life Mr. Newns has been happy. Mrs. Newns, who is an earnest worker and an able speaker, has shared his labours, rendering splendid service in Sunday School, Christian Endeavour, and Temperance work. His sons and his daughters are all musical, and have given freely of their services to the churches.
Mr. Newns is hale and strong. We anticipate for him yet many years of service. With his long experience, ripened judgment, and developed graces he should be capable of building up the Kingdom of God more efficiently than ever, and if health and life are continued it will be his joy so to do.
H. S. Targett.