Davies, John Robert (1901-1963)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN ROBERT DAVIES: born in Buckley, North Wales, in 1901. He entered the ministry from his home church in Drury, North Wales, serving for a year in Sudbury before being trained at Hartley College. Wherever he served his ministry bore the stamp of the “man of God.” There was breadth and depth in his character. He had a mind clear and incisive and expressed his own deep thinking into eternal truth revealed in Jesus Christ in language which betokened his Celtic origins and the wealth of his literary interest. In public prayer the richness of his personal devotional life found expression in a liturgical form which was alive with the presence and nearness of God and the corporate participation in the act of worship. 

Utterly forthright and impatient of cant in any shape he yet exercised wisdom and tact in all his handling of the affairs of the church. On a number of occasions he was called on to take over the responsibilities of his circuits and did so with distinction. A faithful pastor, he had a genius for remembering family occasions and marking them with his presence in the homes of his people. His ministry ranged far beyond the limits of the churches under his care. He had a catholic interest in music and literature, occasionally stole time to watch sporting events, and, assisted by his wife, made his home a gratefully-remembered place of hospitality and friendship. 

The circuits in which he served included Melton, Scholes, Ely, Forest of Dean, Manningtree, Staines & Feltham, Harrow, Kilburn & Hampstead and Elmdon. He died with tragic suddenness after returning home from preparations for a Christmas service, on 17 December 1963, in his sixty-third year and the thirty-eighth year of his ministry.


John was born in 1901 at Buckley, Flintshire, to parents John, a coal miner, and Elizabeth.

He married Gwedoline Gertrude Garling (1900-1978) in the spring of 1930 in the Lexden Registration District, Essex. Birth records identify three children.

  • Ian Hewitt (1931-2002)
  • Elizabeth H (b1933)
  • Robert J.B. (b1938)

John died on 17 December 1963 at Stechford, Birmingham.


  • 1923 Supply
  • 1924 Hartley
  • 1927 Sudbury
  • 1928 Melton & Oakham
  • 1930 Scholes
  • 1932 Ely
  • 1936 Forest of Dean
  • 1939 Manningtree &c
  • 1945 Staines &c
  • 1950 London Harrow
  • 1955 London Kilburn
  • 1958 Birmingham Elmdon


Methodist Minutes 1964/201

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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