Tennant, William Alfred (1903-1968)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM ALFRED TENNANT: born at Gainsborough in the year 1903. After living in Ipswich for seventeen years he entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry at twenty-one years of age. He had previously completed the articles of his indenture as an engineer. It was perhaps natural and inevitable that he should hear the call to preach, and the call to the Ministry, seeing how well he was established in the faith at home, and that his grandfather was a Deed Poll member of the Primitive Methodist Church.

Having served two probation years at Bletchley (Leighton Buzzard Circuit) he entered Hartley College for three precious years of his life. How happy he was in the recollection of the fellowship and the friendships of his alma mater! After finishing probation at March (Wisbech Circuit) in 1931 he travelled in eight other circuits—Diss, Pickering and Driffield, Bingham, Sheffield (Carver Street), Ilkeston, Sheffield (Norfolk), and Wath-on-Dearne and Mexborough.

Although unassuming, and never seeking first place, he served his Lord and Master in the Church with faithfulness and zeal. In administration he exercised great care and as a pastor he excelled. He had a great gift of friendship, a patience in caring and a quiet sense of humour which endeared him to the hearts of those to whom he ministered with a self-sacrificial devotion. He was wise in counsel but utterly unwilling to compromise on questions of principle. 

During the closing months of his life though beset by increasing pain and weakness he continued his ministry, especially his care for the sick, with an amazing courage and determination. Even when weakness overcame him his deep concern was that the work of the circuit should not suffer. He died on 31 August 1968, on the day which was his last day in the active work and on which he had planned to retire, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and the fortieth of his ministry.

Family

William was born on 10 March 1903 at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, to parents Harry Tennant, a foreman machinist for agricultural machinery (1911), and Alice Maud Brooks.

He married Annie Hannah Emmeney (1900-1993) in the summer of 1931 at Ipswich, Suffolk. Birth records identify two children.

  • Ann E (b1933)
  • Paul (b1937)

William died on 31 August 1968 at Wath-upon-Dearne, Yorkshire.

Circuits

  • 1924 Leighton Buzzard
  • 1926 Hartley
  • 1929 Wisbech
  • 1931 Diss
  • 1934 Pickering
  • 1937 Driffield
  • 1941 Bingham
  • 1947 Sheffield Car
  • 1952 Ilkeston
  • 1958 Sheffield Norf
  • 1963 Wath &c

References

Methodist Minutes 1969/186

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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