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John Holland Ritson (1868-1953)

John Holland Ritson was born in Bolton, Lancashire. He was educated at Manchester Grammar and Balliol College Oxford, where he took a first in Natural Science.

Ritson trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Headingley and was assistant tutor at Didsbury College from 1891 to 1894. He then entered the circuit ministry.

In 1900 Ritson was appointed one of the general secretaries of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in which capacity he was mainly responsible for the reorganization of the work of the Society in Canada and Australia. In 1906 he was elected a member of the Ministerial Training Committee of the Methodist Church and in 1910 served as the joint recording secretary of the first International Missionary Council. Ritson was a very effective fund-raiser and was instrumental in the foundation of Wesley House Cambridge and the general re-equipment of Methodist Colleges after the First World War.

Ritson was elected President of Conference in 1925. He retired in 1931.

Source: Minutes of Conference 1954 and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

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