Fr. George Parsons was born in Small Heath, Birmingham in 1919 and served in the Pioneer Corps during the 2nd World War. He later became an engineer, and only after 30 years in industry did he decide to ‘take up the cloth’, studying at night to complete his training. “I feel I am coming home,” said Father Parsons, “I felt a sort of calling when I was in industry, and after thinking about it a long time I decided to make the break.” He was appointed as a Chaplain to the Forces in October1972.
Married to Sylvia, and father of five children, Father Parsons was collated on the 8th April 1976. During his time at All Saints’ one of the worst tragedies to hit the parish occurred when a fire, probably started by an overheated oil heater, raged through a house in South Road killing three sisters – Nathalie (3), Samantha (4) and Amanda (7) despite the efforts of their father – Trevor Sibley – to get to them. Beaten back by the heat and flames, he was forced to jump from a bedroom window to safety whilst the children remained trapped inside. Firemen too, were hampered in their rescue attempts by the layout of the buildings and failed to reach the children in time. Ironically the family was one of the last to remain in South Road and, had it not been for a delay in connecting utilities, they would have already been re-housed in a new council house.
Fr. Parsons did not stay long at All Saints’ and left in October 1978 to take up a post at S. Paul’s, Caterham where he warmly invited the congregation to his ‘welcome communion’ and had a successful ministry there. He returned to All Saints’ for a service celebrating the centenary of the Consecration in 1992.