Whiteley, Sarah Ann Hallas (nee Conyers) (1824-1901)

Transcription of Obituary in the Christian Messenger

MRS. T. WHITELEY (of Normanton).- Mrs. Whiteley, the wife of one of our Deed Poll members, died at Normanton on July 24th, 1901. Her history carries us back to the early days of the Connexion, for she was born at Wakefield in 1824, and became a member of the Connexion on June 16th, 1839, when our Church was less than thirty years old. She was, therefore, an old-time Primitive Methodist, and never faltered in her attachment to our church during the 62 years of her membership. She was converted under the ministry of the Rev. John Hawey in Wakefield, and joined the class of the late Mr. Samuel Seal. She diligently attended the means of grace, and so developed her gifts and piety that she was placed on the plan as a prayer leader – a position that she held for seven years. On May 31st, 1846, she was united to Mr. Whiteley, to whom she was a faithful helpmeet for 55 years. Soon after her marriage they removed to Hunslet, then a branch of the Leeds First Station. Our interest here was very feeble, and for ten years they plodded on in the face of many difficulties and discouragements. At length a chapel was bought, and they had the joy of seeing the church enter on a career of progress and prosperity. During their residence here Mr. and Mrs. Whiteley had the honour and privilege of entertaining the Ven. Hugh Bourne.  In 1856 another removal took our friends to Prince’s Field, Leeds Second Station, and after twelve years’ faithful toil there, they removed to Hopetown, then in the Pontefract Station. The principal part of our sister’s active career was spent here, and her memory is warmly cherished in our church, with whose progress she and her husband have been so closely connected. When they reached Hopetown they found a small society of fourteen members, chiefly aged persons, worshipping in a house; but within twelve months a new chapel and school were built, costing over £500. Gradually the debt was reduced, and a new site procured, upon which there now stands a beautiful new church valued at over £2,000, with a society in a flourishing and promising condition. Thus in four Circuits Mrs. Whiteley took her part in the early struggles of our Church, and lived to see the causes for which she laboured and in which she never ceased to be interested reach a condition of strength and prosperity. She was a familiar figure at our District and Conferential gatherings; and no one ever took a deeper interest, or felt a greater pride in the triumphs of our Church, than did our departed sister. The last five years of her life were spent at Normanton in a broken condition of health; but in patient waiting also for the Master’s call to rest. Her summons came at length, and we may now say of her also, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

Family

Sarah was baptised on 30 May 1824 at St John, Wakefield. The baptism record identifies her parents as George Conyers and Sarah Holroyd.

Sarah married Thomas Whiteley (abt 1824-1902). Thomas was an iron founder by trade. Census returns do not identify any children.

References

Christian Messenger 1902/319

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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