Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | October 30, 2018

Rev Brian Barker, 1931 – 2018

This tribute to Brian is published in the November 2018 edition of the Carey Newsletter and is adapted from the Minister’s tribute at the Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Rev Brian Barker, Minister at Carey from 1962 – 1970.

 

 

THE LIFE OF BRIAN

“ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE”

At Brian’s funeral recently, his son, Tim, started off the eulogy for his Dad with this famous Monty Python saying from ‘The Life of Brian’ which summed Brian up.

Whilst visiting Brian not long before his passing he was in good spirits and looking at the world in a positive light as we reminisced about the years past. It was always good to meet Brian wherever he was, at home, in hospital or in Church.

Brian is part of Carey’s history, supporting the Church right up to his passing, he was also a significant part of my teenage years at Carey. After leaving the ministry Brian led the Junior Church Senior group here at Carey. We would meet at his home in Park Avenue to discuss a variety of subjects before moving down to the Church to be part of the Morning Worship.

Brian was born in 1931 in Catford, south‑east London, second son of Gladys and Douglas Barker. At the outbreak of war he was evacuated to Reigate in Surrey.

Educated at St. Dunstan’s College in Catford (a future Bishop of Durham was the head boy when he first went there) to Matriculated (G.C.S.E.) and Higher Schools (A‑level) standard before obtaining a place at Cambridge to read Chemistry.

In 1947 Brian came in contact with a local Baptist Church and was baptised, becoming a member the next year. Brian served his National Service during which time he felt a call to enter the Ministry so in 1953 he spurned Cambridge to enter Spurgeon’s College in London.

Ordained in July 1957 and married to Jean the next day, he was called to his first Church at Stourport‑on‑Severn in Worcestershire where the birth of sons Jeremy (1959) and Timothy (1961) followed. He moved to Carey in December 1962 and was Inducted on a frosty evening in January 1963.

During 1967 came great change, his daughter Helen was born and he joined the staff of Kettering Grammar School, to teach Greek, Latin and Religious Studies, whilst maintaining a Sunday Ministry and some pastoral work during the week.

In 1970, he left the Ministry to continue his teaching but he continued to support and work for Carey, running the Junior Church class for the young people at his house in Park Avenue before all moving down to join the church for the last part of the service.

 

Brian retired from education and in 1989 took up a position of Secretary of the Northants Baptist Association working for Baptists in the area from his new home at Martha Wallis Court where Janet was the warden.

He had married Janet a few years earlier and they enjoyed 33 years of happy marriage.

They retired in the mid 90’s to live in Moulton and attended the Carey Baptist Church in the village but Brian continued to preach around the Association serving the 62 county churches for 7 years. He also spent a lot of time on the team Ministry at the Ecumenical project (Danesholme) in Corby.

In more recent times increasing difficulty in driving meant Brian wanted to be closer to family so they moved back to Kettering and they became members of Burton Latimer Baptist Church where he served as Moderator during their interregnum.

He struggled with mobility even more and bought a mobility scooter and was able to get to Sunday services at Carey or Rockingham Road. Preaching also became a struggle but he did preach on 5th July 2017 to celebrate 60 years since his ordination, which was quite an achievement.

 

Brian is now at Peace and we continue to offer support and prayers for Janet, his children and the wider family too.

A good friend, sadly missed, goodnight Brian and God Bless.

Keith Mitchell

Church Secretary

 

 

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