Bateson, Alfred (1880-1964)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ALFRED BATESON: born in Kendal in 1880, was trained at Hartley College for the Primitive Methodist Ministry, which he entered in 1906. After ministries in Banbury, Newbury, Bishops Castle, Birmingham, Knighton and London, he returned to Banbury as superintendent of the circuit for the last eleven years of his active ministry which totalled forty-four years. 

He was a man of strong personality and had a splendid physique and a commanding presence. He was forthright and on occasions could be blunt, but in time of trouble people found in him a pastor and friend who would listen sympathetically and could be trusted for wise counsel and generous help. Possessing a deep, resonant voice, a lively mind and a fine command of language, he exercised a notable pulpit ministry in city circuits. It was, however, in rural circuits that he found most enjoyment and was at his best. A great lover of country life, he admirably understood the farming community and had a facility for sharing their interests and concerns. As an administrator he was superb and his clear judgment and tremendous drive ensured success to any church or circuit business matter which engaged his attention. To younger colleagues he was kind and encouraging, rejoicing as much in any success with which they met as if it were his own achievement. His character was without any taint of jealousy. Gifted with a delightful sense of humour, he was always good company. If he did not readily converse about his faith, beneath the outward reserve there was a keen sensitivity of soul discernible to those who knew him most intimately. 

During his fourteen years of retirement in the Banbury circuit he not only continued to preach but found special satisfaction in chaplaincy work as an honorary chaplain to the Forces and as Free Church chaplain at the local hospital, where his pastoral care was greatly appreciated. Active almost to the end of his life, he died on 9 April 1964, at the age of eighty-four and in the fifty-eighth year of his ministry.


Alfred was born on 17 March 1880 at Kendal, Westmorland, to parents John, a labourer at gas works (1881), and Sarah.

Before entering the ministry Alfred worked as a grocer’s assistant (1901).

He married Fanny West (1885-1962) in the summer of 1910 at Banbury, Oxfordshire. They had one daughter.

  • Hetha Fanny (1911-2010)

Alfred died on 9 April 1964 at Banbury, Oxfordshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1906 Banbury
  • 1910 Newbury
  • 1913 Bishop’s Castle
  • 1916 Birmingham I
  • 1927 Knighton
  • 1931 London Stanstead
  • 1935 Sydenham
  • 1938 Banbury
  • 1949 Banbury (Sup)


PM Minutes 1964/214

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

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