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This article is about the fictional character. You may be looking for the real person.

The Thin Clergyman is an English Anglican clergyman, railway enthusiast, and children's author. He is a fictionalised version of Wilbert Awdry, the author of The Railway Series.


The Railway Series

The Thin Clergyman and his friend, the Fat Clergyman, once went to the Arlesdale Railway to take photographs of the engines for his upcoming book, Small Railway Engines. One of the engines, Bert, liked the clergymen at first but became uncomfortable when they continued squinting into their cameras without saying hello to him. The clergymen hopped back into their car and raced through a puddle, splashing Bert in the face with muddy water. Although the clergymen had meant no harm, Bert was still cross with them and managed to pay the Fat Clergyman out by splashing him with water from the overhead trees, though he got in trouble for this. The clergymen went to apologise to Bert and cleaned him up, telling him that they would feature him and the other small engines in a book.[1] In 1967, Small Railway Engines was published.[2]

In 1969, the Thin Clergyman had heard the story of Duke from the Small Controller, and he, the Fat Clergyman and the Small Controller made plans to recover Duke and send him to the Skarloey Railway to be restored. Every morning they went on Bert's train and searched through the hills of Arlesdale, but they did not find anything. Their search finally ended when the Fat Clergyman fell through the roof of the buried engine shed and landed on top of Duke, who had been sleeping the whole time.[3]

In 1997, the Thin Clergyman passed away. In 2011, to celebrate his 100th birthday, the Fat Controller made plans to unveil a bust made in his likeness at Tidmouth station. Although plans for the celebration were nearly delayed due to the collapse of Henry's Tunnel, the problem was soon rectified, and the party went ahead, with Prince Charles even attending to unveil the bust.[4]

Thomas & Friends

The Thin Clergyman was among the people present during the grand opening of the Harwick Branch Line.[5] He has also been seen with Mr. Percival on a few occasions and went to the Great Railway Show with him to watch the event.[6] He was also one of Hugo's important passengers when he took a test ride to Vicarstown.

He once informed Willie that his load of wool was slipping. However, Willie ignored the warning, leading to Rex coming off the tracks.

The Thin Clergyman and his friend, the Fat Clergyman, would later reprise their roles from the Railway Series as they went to the Island of Sodor to take photographs of the engines as they went about doing their work. When they went to the Arlesdale Railway, they met Bert, who offered them a ride in his tender. Although Bert liked the visitors, he became uncomfortable when they continued squinting into their cameras without saying hello, and finally became cross with them when they unintentionally ran through a puddle and splashed him in muddy water. Bert managed to get back at the Fat Clergyman, though he got in trouble for it. Afterwards, the clergymen came to the shed to apologise to Bert, and after they cleaned him up, they told him that he would be featured in an upcoming book.[7]

He was also one of the important passengers who was to attend a New Year's Eve party at Callan Castle. But due to an earlier argument and mix-up with Gordon and Spencer, he was brought to Wellsworth by Gordon instead. He was later seen watching the fireworks display at Knapford.

When a railway show for little engines was announced to be held to Ulfstead Castle, Percy told many of the little engines about it, therefore also making them neglect doing their own jobs. Gordon and James later brought all of the railway controllers, as well as the Thin Clergyman, to Ulfstead where Percy explained the situation. The Thin Clergyman told Percy that he misunderstood what his controller told him. When Nia asked what little engines he was referring to, he responded by telling her that the show was meant for model engines.

He was later seen in an bridge one evening drawing some sketches of Thomas, until it was blown away due to Percy and Edward rushing under it due to delivering a delayed mail delivery.


Though not much is known about the Thin Clergyman, he is shown to be a kind and caring man who loved engines and writing books on them, as well as organising some railway shows of his layout for the children.



  • The Awdry family was consulted by Arc Productions during the making of the Thin Clergyman's CGI model.
  • When the Thin and Fat Clergymen visited the Arlesdale Railway, they drove a maroon car with the number plate "040 BMC".
  • He has appeared in every special since his debut in CGI in Sodor’s Legend of The Lost Treasure.


* RWS only | ** T&F only