Billington, Wilfred Charles (1903-1978)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILFRED CHARLES BILLINGTON: born at Crewe on 17th February 1903 of a long line of Methodists. After a pre-collegiate term of two years at Wishaw, he entered Hartley College in 1925. Following two years’ training he went to the Balham Circuit and there married Betty Walters of Wishaw. He then served in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Mission, Derby (Dale Road), Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn (Trinity), Birmingham (Belmont Row), Blackburn (Trinity), Durham, York (Centenary) and London Mission (Broomwood and Clapham) Circuits, before moving to Torquay as a Supernumerary.

He was a friendly man, genuinely interested in people, and his transparent sincerity won him the regard of all to whom he ministered. He was a most acceptable preacher. His preaching was inspired and gracious, practical and relevant, and appealed to the most cultured, yet the least informed could find help from him. He was particularly good with children and published a book of children’s addresses, The Cinder in the Pudding. He was especially interested in work with young people and frequently had groups meeting in the manse. Indeed, his home was an open house where all were welcome and could receive wise advice and friendship. 

He was a conscientious pastor, regular in visiting and helpful in counselling. He did good work administratively wherever he went and, in York, was able to effect a major transformation of the church premises. He was a fine circuit minister, a good friend to his colleagues and blessed with a quiet but keen sense of humour. He died on 22nd October 1978 in the seventy-sixth year of his life and the fifty-fourth year of his ministry.


Wilfred was born on 17 February 1903 at Crewe, Cheshire, to parents James Billington, a railway labourer (1911), and Mary Jane Travers.

He married Betty Walters (1904-1994) of Wishaw, Lanarkshire. Records identify two sons.

  • Raymond John (1930-2012)
  • Wilfred Travers (1932-2002)

Wilfred died on 22 October 1878 at Torquay, Devon.


  • 1923 Wishaw II
  • 1925 Hartley
  • 1927 Balham
  • 1929 Herts & Beds Mission
  • 1931 Derby, Dale Rd
  • 1936 Barrow in Furness
  • 1940 Blackburn Trinity
  • 1953 Durham
  • 1958 York Central
  • 1963 London Mission Broomwood & Stockwell
  • 1969 Torquay (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1979/59

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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