Collins, William Arthur Raymond (1876-1943)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM ARTHUR RAYMOND COLLINS: born at Marshland Fen, King’s Lynn, in the year 1876. He was a minister greatly gifted in mind and heart. His early employment was as a librarian, and all his life he retained a love for and an expert knowledge of books. Always mentally alert and well informed, his knowledge was equalled by the zeal with which he imparted to others the treasures of his mind. He lived to share and to serve. 

He was in demand as a lecturer on literary subjects, and in all his circuits the influence of his virile personality was felt. He gloried above all things in the preaching of the Gospel of the Grace of God, and if one method of bringing the Gospel home to the hearts of men seemed inadequate he was ready to try another, constantly experimenting and frequently with success, willing to be “made all things to all men that he might by all means save some.”

People outside the churches respected him, and many, especially the poorest, called him blessed for his loving sympathy and kindly deeds. He was in the forty-first year of his ministry when he was laid low, and after lying in semi-consciousness for some weeks his spirit took its flight on December 3, 1943.


William was born on 5 July 1876 at Marshland Fen, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, to parents Joseph Collins, a farmer of 102 acres (1881), and Sarah Jane Smith.

In 1901, William is recorded as an evangelist in Rotherham, Yorkshire.

He married Caroline Brittain (b1877) in the summer of 1907 at Boston, Lincolnshire. Census returns and birth records identify four children.

  • Marjorie Mary (b1908)
  • Arthur Raymond (b abt1910)
  • Donald Edward (1913-1998)
  • Brian Brittain (1915-1981) – an electrical and radio engineer (1939)

William died on 3 December 1943 at Epworth, Lincolnshire.


  • 1902 Brigg
  • 1903 Liverpool II
  • 1905 Douglas
  • 1907 Calne
  • 1912 Morley
  • 1915 Liverpool V
  • 1922 Workington
  • 1925 Rotherham
  • 1930 Barnsley II
  • 1934 Chesterfield
  • 1937 Epworth


Methodist Minutes 1944/126

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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