Book launched in Fred’s memory will raise funds for Gosforth church

First published on: 4th December 2023

A book has been launched in memory of a man who dedicated many years of service to Newcastle Diocese.

The proceeds of ‘Just Fred’, written about the life and times of the late Fred Wilkinson by his wife Margaret, will go to All Saints Church in Gosforth, where he served as church warden.

Fred, who died in 2002, was a well-known figure the North East and for many years, was headteacher at Dame Allan’s School in Newcastle.

A devout Christian, he carried out numerous roles in the Diocese. For 12 years, Fred served as lay chairman of the Diocesan Synod and also held other key positions. He chaired the Vacancy-in-See Committee and the Northumbrian Industrial Mission and was involved in other projects.

Margaret, now aged 93, said All Saints Church was very close to her late husband’s heart.

“We joined All Saints 53 years ago,” she said. “In his last year he became church warden – finally – and it really did mean a lot to him. The other day I was marvelling at how much it has changed at All Saints over the decades, but it has always remained a very warm and caring community.”

The book has been years in the making. Margaret initially started to compile a record of her life with Fred for family, after sifting through boxes of carefully filed paperwork, including diaries.

She teamed up with Julia and Alan Grint of Ergo Press in Hexham, who were delighted to produce the fascinating account in book form. In November, a launch event for the book took place at All Saints.

The Revd Canon Andrew Shipton, of All Saints Church said: “I knew Fred having served my curacy here and he was a very warm and dedicated man. This has been a long-term project for Margaret. It’s a credit to her determination that we’ve got to this stage and the book is a fascinating and moving read. We are very grateful that all proceeds will go to All Saints in Fred’s memory.”

Away from writing, Margaret remains active and continues to serve as a trustee of St Hilda’s Trust, which supports charities and organisations which work with disadvantaged children and young people within the boundaries of the Diocese. More information about the trust can be found here 

To obtain a copy of Just Fred, email

Pictured above: Margaret Wilkinson (seated, right) with the Revd Canon Andrew Shipton and Julia Grint at the book launch.

Powered by Church Edit