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Obituary: Kenneth Baker

by
29 July 2022

Correspondents write:

A FORMER managing director of Mowbray’s, Kenneth Boyce Baker died on 17 June, aged 91. Born in West Ealing, Kenneth had an ordinary school upbringing, undertook National Service, and gained qualifications in marketing, design, and management. He set up his own publicity and design business, and worked with Oxfam and other charitable and Christian organisations.

In 1963, he joined the ecclesiastical bookselling and publishing firm A. R. Mowbray & Co., in London, as marketing manager. In 1975, he was appointed a director of the company, moving to the Oxford office; in later years he became managing director.

He brought new life into Mowbray’s publishing, including “Gloworm” books for young children, publications from the Taizé Community in France, and a series of colour picture covers for parish magazines all over the country.

On retirement, Ken took on a consultancy position, developing the Canterbury Press book-publishing business of Hymns Ancient and Modern in Norwich. Hymn-book publishing with its high production values was the company’s great strength, and the hymn books that Ken worked on will still be in regular use in thousands of churches, and not showing the slightest sign of falling apart. He was patient and kind with colleagues, and handled all the book production for some years with his dependable wisdom.

Ken served in three churches, St Paul’s, South Harrow, St Edburg’s, Bicester, and at Wymondham Abbey, where he was churchwarden for nine years. Altogether, Ken served on PCCs for more than 60 years.

After his beloved wife, Pam, died in 2012, Ken stepped back from business life to enjoy more social activities with the National Trust, U3A, Heritage, and several local art groups. He loved his garden and spent many happy hours painting in his studio. Throughout his life, his three children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren were a source of great joy and comfort to him.

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