Bourne, Alfred Douglas (1899-1984)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ALFRED DOUGLAS BOURNE: was born at Overseal, Derbyshire on 25th April 1899. He saw service as a Flying Officer in the First World War. He entered the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1923, serving a pre-collegiate year in Staithes, Yorkshire, going from there to Hartley College, Manchester. It was in his first circuit after college, at Southend-on-Sea, that he met the girl who was to become his wife. He and Frances were married in 1927. They then went on together to serve in Forest Gate (London), Scarborough, York, Cannock Chase and Richmond, Yorks. 

Retiring in Richmond they stayed on living there in retirement for seven years before returning to Cannock in 1966. Douglas gave much valuable service to the Cannock Circuit as a greatly loved preacher and hospital chaplain. Despite his advancing years he was always in demand for Sunday School Anniversaries and he never failed to gain the interest and response of his congregations, children and adults alike. His affinity for children was apparent in his ministry in Scarborough. There he used to have a 10 minute slot in the Saturday morning children’s film shows at a cinema. In addition, he used to run film shows for children earning for himself the title, ‘The Penny Pictures Man’. 

It was during the 1940s that he served as Synod Secretary for the, then, York and Whitby District. Douglas Bourne was a great builder. He sought always to build up the circuit spirit and to give local churches a sense of the great family to which they belonged. He sought the same for his colleagues and encouraged the coming together socially of his colleagues and their families. He was always delighted to be able to attend with Frances such get-togethers of the Cannock staff in his latter years. 

A valuable part of his ministry in retirement was his chaplaincy to Chase Hospital, Cannock. He was a regular weekly visitor as Free Church chaplain to this, mainly geriatric, hospital. He gave much pleasure and comfort to the patients with his cheerfulness, his lively sense of fun and his great compassion. He was a regular preacher at Cannock United Reformed Church, where he was always welcome. The Circuit staff meeting was enriched by his presence. He had, in retirement, the advantage of being able to look more objectively at circuit issues and was always ready to give the benefit of his experience and knowledge of the circuit. He was gracious in the encouragement and support he gave to any or all of the ministers in any problems they had to deal with and in whatever decisions they made. He died after a short illness in hospital on 29th July 1984 in the eighty-sixth year of his age and the sixty-first year of his ministry.


Alfred was born on 25 April 1899 at Overseal, Derbyshire, to parents William, a farmer, and Ada Ann.

He married Frances Eleanor Ann Currell (1903-1987) in the spring of 1927 in the Rochford Registration District, Essex.

Alfred died on 29 July 1984 at Stafford, Staffordshire.


  • 1921 Staithes
  • 1922 Hartley
  • 1924 Southend
  • 1927 Forest Gate
  • 1934 Scarborough Jubilee
  • 1940 York Wesley
  • 1947 Cannock Chase
  • 1952 Richmond, Yorks
  • 1959 Richmond (S)


Methodist Minutes 1985/61

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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