Born near London, Sargent earned a degree in mathematics at Cambridge and then went to the London College of Divinity in 1930. After ordination he was for three years a curate in St. Alban’s Diocese before proceeding in 1934 to Chengtu (Chengdu), Szechwan (Sichuan) in western China, under the CMS. He studied Chinese and then lectured at the West China Union University. He was later chaplain to Bishop Song of Western China and assistant secretary for CMS, West China. In 1942 he married Imogene Ward, born in Foochow (Fuzhou), the daughter of American Methodist missionaries. In 1947 and 1948 he studied at Union Theological Seminary, New York (S.T.M.).
On their return to China in 1949, the Sargents realized that their presence endangered their Chinese colleagues, and they moved to Hong Kong in 1951. They were then asked by CMS to head the men’s missionary training at Chislehurst, Kent, England, where the women’s training was already located. Sargent’s personality and experience made a deep impression on the trainees. He continued at Chislehurst until 1962, when he was consecrated bishop of Selby (suffragan to the archbishop of York), an office he held until 1972, when he resigned after a heart attack. He died in York.
This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright (c) 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of The Gale Group; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.
- Douglas Sargent, The Making of a Missionary (1960).