It is with the keenest sorrow that we have to record the death of the Rev. Matthew Edward Parkin, for 15 years pastor of the Rushden Congregational Church, and one who has been a foremost figure in the religious, moral and social life of Rushden. Mr. Parkin, who was 55 years of age, was recently moved to Northampton General Hospital to undergo a serious operation. On Wednesday March 21st the operation was performed, but the patient never rallied, and he passed away peacefully on Saturday morning last shortly after one o’clock. For the last seven years he had suffered severely at times from an internal disease.
Deceased leaves a widow and six children, namely:- Mr. M. E. Parkin, boot retailer of Mercers Row, Northampton; Mr. G. H. Parkin, Rushden; Mrs. Walter Sargent; Miss Olive Parkin; Miss Gertrude Parkin; and Master Rennie Parkin. In August 1897, another son, then aged 17 years, was accidentally drowned at the Northampton Swimming Baths.
The late Mr. Parkin was born at Thorpe Hesley, Yorkshire in 1850. In early life he went to Sheffield and entered business in the cutlery trade about the year 1877. At that time, however, he had a strong desire to enter the ministry, and he took up a pastorate at Cleator Moor, Cumberland, which he held up to 1884. He then went to Nottingham College for two years, and at the end of that period he accepted the pastorate of the Congregational Church at Yelvertoft. Prior to that he had received an invitation from the church at Rushden, but he went to Yelvertoft and held the pastorate of the Congregational Church in that village until 1891, when he accepted another invitation extended to him from Rushden.
Mr. Parkin took an active part in promoting the various agencies connected with church life; he was president of Rushden Temperance Society; and for one period of office represented Rushden on the Wellingborough Board of Guardians. He was also interested in the education question, and when at Yelvertoft he acted as chairman of the School Board. In politics he was a sound Liberal and rendered good service to the cause on the platform. In April 1904 the rev. gentleman was elected Vice-President of the Northamptonshire Congregational Association, and a year later he became President, a position he held at the time of his death.
is the fact that two of the ministerial presidents of the Northants Congregational Association have died during their year of office - Mr. Parkin and the Rev. J. J. Cooper of Northampton.
Mr. Parkin’s successor in office will be Mr. George Higgins of Northampton.