Chapman, Rowland Wilson (1899-1982)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ROWLAND WILSON CHAPMAN: born in Brigg, Lincolnshire, on 11th November 1899. Following two pre-collegiate years at Newmarket, he went to Hartley College, coming under the influence of Dr. A. S. Peake. He then served in the following circuits: Crowle, Kidderminster, Doncaster (Highfield Road), Frome, Radstock and Coleford, Holsworthy, Nelson (Lancs), Accrington, Spen Valley, and Halifax (Wesley). In 1966 he retired to Edgbaston, Birmingham, moving to Great Barr in 1978 with his wife, Grace. They met while he was at Accrington and married just before he left there. 

His earlier years were shared by Miss M.J. Bradfield, affectionately known as ‘Auntie’, who joined him at Doncaster and travelled with him until she died in 1974. A lover of books, Rowland was always perusing one volume or another which had caught his eye in a bookshop. His reading not only enriched his mind but also his preaching. He would not use a word twice if he could find an alternative. Aided by a deep sonorous voice, he proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ with conviction, and his sermons always ended on a note of hope and joy. He was tireless in sick visitation, in which he said that he himself reaped a blessing by coming into contact with those who could rejoice even in their sufferings. A phrase he often used was ‘Jesus, only Saviour’. In all his relationships he showed a liberal and sympathetic understanding. He was convinced of the importance of prayer, and even when his health was failing insisted on going to the prayer group at Great Barr Church. 

He continued to take services until the last six months of his life. He died on 21st February 1982 in the eighty-third year of his age and the fifty-fifth year of his ministry.


Rowland was born on 11 November 1899 at Brigg, Lincolnshire, to parents Henry Chapman, a coal merchant, and Margaret Elizabeth Wilson.

He married Grace Morgans in the summer of 1959 in the Darwen Registration District, Lancashire.

Rowland died on 21 February 1982 at Great Barr, Birmingham.


  • 1925 Wickham Brook
  • 1927 Hartley
  • 1929 Crowle
  • 1931 Kidderminster
  • 1934 Doncaster &c
  • 1938 Frome &c
  • 1945 Holsworthy
  • 1950 Nelson
  • 1954 Accrington
  • 1959 Spen Valley
  • 1963 Halifax Wesley
  • 1966 Birmingham (S)


Methodist Minutes 1982/56

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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