Clifford, John William M.A. (1879-1963)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1930
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1932

Early years

John was born in 1879 at Oxford, Oxfordshire, to parents Jabez James Clifford and Louisa Ellen Maria Bough. Jabez was a tailor.

When Oxford University was opened to nonconformists, John was one of the first to graduate, taking a degree in classics. He worked as a teacher before entering the ministry.


John served as Temperance Secretary in the Sunderland and Newcastle District and as Sunday School Secretary in the Hull District. In the Leeds District he was Building Committee Secretary. He became Connexional Sunday School Secretary in 1927. His outstanding pioneer work as a pioneer in the training of Sunday School teachers was of great value to his own Connexion and to a wider circle.

From 1920 to 1925 John served as Secretary of the Probationers’ Examination Committee.

His obituary records that his preaching was of high order, and he gained the lasting affection of those to whom he was pastor. In 1929 he contributed the Morse lecture, which was entitles ‘Capturing Youth’ and which formed a stimulating handbook for senior workers.


John remained a bachelor.

John died on 7 February 1963 at Luton, Bedfordshire.


  • 1902 Newcastle I
  • 1907 Durham
  • 1914 Hull II
  • 1918 Manchester VI
  • 1923 Leeds I
  • 1927 General Secretary of SS
  • 1932 Middlesborough
  • 1937 Manchester Stretford
  • 1941 Derby South
  • 1946 Luton (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919/665; 1930/436; 1932/264

Methodist Minutes 1963/196

R Newman Wycherley, The Pageantry of Methodist Union, 1932, p400

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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