William Sangster
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William Edwin Robert Sangster (1900 - 1960)

Rev Dr William Edwin Robert "Willie" Sangster
Born in Shoreditch, London, UKmap
Husband of — married 12 Aug 1926 in Ealing, Middlesex, England, United Kingdommap
[children unknown]
Died at about age 59 in Wandsworth, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Jun 2016
This page has been accessed 1,644 times.


A leading British Methodist preacher, writer, theologian. He was the son of Anglican parents - Henry George Sangster (who was a cardboard box cutter, employed in linen collar manufacturing) and Martha Elizabeth. William was the third of five children. In his teen years William was drawn to Methodist teaching. He trained for the Methodist ministry, and was ordained in Wesley Chapel in York on July 27, 1926. Two weeks after his Ordination, having already had a long period of engagement, he and Margaret Conway were married in the Ealing Methodist church. The following year Margaret gave birth to twins, Paul and Margaret.

In 1936 Sangster was called to the pulpit of a large church in Leeds, as successor to the Rev Dr Leslie Weatherhead (another renowned Methodist preacher). William Sangster was later to Minister at Methodist Central Hall in London for many years. A gifted preacher, he was encouraged to write, and several of his books on the Craft of Sermon construction became essential reading for candidates for the ministry.

In 1954, Dr Sangster visited Australia as the guest of the General Conference of the Methodist Church of Australasia, and as the Cato Lecturer for that year [1]. His visit to Australia lasted about eleven weeks. His lecture has been published as "The Pure in Heart - a study in Christian Sanctity." During his visit to Australia, I was privileged to be able to hear him preach in Wesley Church, Melbourne. Every seat was occupied, and I, being one of the stewards, was forced to remain standing for the whole of the service.

Dr Sangster's published books included -

  • "Why Jesus never wrote a book" (1931)
  • "God does guide us" (1934)
  • "He is able" (1936)
  • "Methodism can be born again" (1938)
  • "The Craft of the Sermon" (in two parts, dealing with Construction and Illustration)
  • "Teach us to Pray" (Epworth Press, 1951)
  • "The Path to Perfection"


  1. The Cato lecture was inspired and financed by Fred J Cato
  • London, England C. of E. Births & Baptisms (1813-1917), provides detail of Baptism in Shoreditch, St.Mark (Old Street) #20 in the parish register of baptisms
  • England & Wales, Free BMD Birth Index, 1837-1915: 1900, 3rd Quarter, Shoreditch, Vol 1c, page 28
  • 1911 Census for England, shows his parents, along with William and all of his siblings
  • Free BMD Marriage Index, Sept 1926, Brentford, Middlesex, Vol 3a, page 623
  • Free BMD Deaths Index, for 1960, at Wandsworth, Vol. 5d, page 718
  • Biography, titled “Doctor Sangster”, written by Paul Sangster, published in 1962 by Epworth Press.

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Categories: British Methodist Ministers