Chastney, Alec Richardson (1905-1981)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ALEC RICHARDSON CHASTNEY: born in Tatterford, West Norfolk on 12th November 1905. On leaving Hamonds Grammar School, Swaffham, he was appointed student teacher to an elementary boys school, obtaining his Acting Teacher’s certificate in 1926. Soon afterwards he felt called to the ministry, was accepted and entered Hartley College, Manchester in 1929. He served in the following circuits: Leytonstone and Stratford, Birmingham (Mosley Road), Brighton and Hove, Croydon (Laud Street), Hunstanton and Docking, Burton-on-Trent (George Street), Uttoxeter and Ramsor, Nottingham (North), Wanstead and Woodford, and Highgate. 

In two districts, Nottingham and Derby and London North East, he was Synod secretary, appointments which recognised his administrative gifts. Though he believed in the importance of discipline and as Superintendent expected the rules of our constitution to be upheld, many who served under his leadership will bear witness to his understanding compassion and dry sense of humour, and will be grateful for his own disciplined example. A particularly fruitful period of his ministry was at Uttoxeter where he was Chaplain to the Sudbury Open Prison. 

On retirement to Bedford in 1973, he became Free Church chaplain to the maternity and geriatric wing of the Bedford Hospital. He was chairman of the Bedford Group of the University Extension Society, where his interest in local history provided the stimulus he needed to set down his own reminiscences of his early life in rural Norfolk. He belonged to the Fellowship of the Kingdom and shared in its group life. He took a full part in the life and worship of Priory church, preached regularly in the circuit and beyond and maintained his links with friends and former colleagues through his membership of the London Luncheon club. These activities he engaged in enthusiastically until ill health led to major surgery. The knowledge of his terminal illness was accepted in his usual quiet but stoical way. 

Throughout his ministry he was ably supported and lovingly cared for by his wife Constance and four sons, of whom he was justly proud. He died on 7th July 1981 (Ordination Day) in the seventy-sixth year of his age and the forty-ninth year of his ministry.


Alec was born on 12 November 1905 at Tatterford, Norfolk, to parents Josiah Herbert Chastney, a farm bailiff, and Mary Gray.

He married Constance May Edwards (1906-1984) in the summer of 1936 at Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Birth records identify four sons.

  • David F (b1937)
  • Andrew H (b1940)
  • Philip R (b1944)
  • John G (b1947)

Alec died on 7 July 1981 at Moggerhanger, Bedfordshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1932 Leytonstone
  • 1934 President’s list
  • 1936 Brighton & Hove
  • 1939 Croydon Laud St
  • 1942 Hunterston &c
  • 1958 Nottingham N
  • 1964 London Wanstead &c
  • 1969 London Highgate
  • 1973 Bedford (Sup)


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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