On this day in 1897, a large number of people gathered at St Oswald’s Church for the funeral of Forster CROZIER. About four months earlier he had collapsed in the pulpit while taking the Wednesday evening service at the Wesleyan Chapel in Filey. He was taken by cab to his home in Rutland Street, unconscious, and made only a limited recovery in the weeks remaining to him.
His vigour as a Wesleyan Minister had dissipated some years before, but in his prime, he’d been a great facilitator for school and church building in a number of circuits around the country.
His brother, Richard, was also a Wesleyan Minister. Their starts in life made them unlikely Christian soldiers. Forster was six, and Richard a year old, when their father was killed in a mining accident. At the 1851 census Forster, given age 10, was a coal miner. Richard followed him down the pit and in 1861 both were miners, living in Pelton, near Chester le Street, with their mother Margaret and sister Mary. Before the next census was taken Margaret was dead, the brothers had found God, and Forster had a wife.
In October 1871, Hannah Hart née ROBINSON gave birth to a girl, Edith Maud, in Govan, Scotland, and perhaps not long afterwards died. (I haven’t found a record of her death.)
Forster married Mary Ursula WOOLLEY at the beginning of 1875 and their first child, Clara Jane, was born about nine months later. The Croziers would have four more children.
In loving memory of FORSTER CROZIER, Wesleyan Minister, who died at Filey April 23rd 1897, aged 56 years.
‘A good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ
His languishing head is at rest.
His thinkings and achings are o’er
His quiet immovable breast
Is heaved by affliction no more’
Also MARY URSULA, wife of the above, born April 30th 1848, died April 30th 1926.
‘Now we see through the glass darkly
But then face to face’
One of the many wreaths on Forster’s coffin had carried the following inscription:-
A good soldier of Jesus Christ. A tribute from friends in King’s Lynn.
Christians are now the most persecuted religious group on this messed up planet. What would Forster and his Wesleyan “family” make of this – and the unbelievably gross insult of being called “Easter worshippers” by war criminals. For God’s sake…