Dover, Ernest (1900-1982)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ERNEST DOVER: born in South Shields on 27th September 1900. On leaving school he went to work in the St. Hilda Colliery in South Shields where he stayed for seven years. He was called to the ministry and after training in Hartley College began his travelling ministry in 1928 in what was then “Newcastle 2”. He was stationed next in “Northampton 2” as President’s Assistant and from there went to “Bradford 7”. These years were a period of learning and adjustment for the lad from the mines who had been called to the ministry of the Gospel. 

He returned to his native North-East to exercise that ministry first in the Blythe Circuit and then in the Ashington and Darlington (South) Circuits. The eight years in Darlington were followed by twelve in the Salisbury Circuit. His active ministry closed in the Portsmouth Mission. The outstanding period at Salisbury epitomised a most distinctive ministry. 

“Ernie” would never have claimed to be a scholar but all that he learned “in the school of life” made him the most sensitive of pastors and rooted his preaching in the everyday experiences of life. Perhaps his great gift of empathy began when, as a very young man, he had to meet his father, hastily brought from the battlefields of France, with the news that his wife, Ernie’s mother, had died and that the funeral was to take place that very day. Certainly throughout a ministry which has had a wide influence he was, for many hundreds of people, the Gospel with a human face. 

Returning to Salisbury on retirement he and Ada were a gracious influence among the people of St. Edmunds, Church Street, so many of whom had grown up during his period of ministry. After a few months in hospital he died on 7th November 1982 in the eighty-third year of his age and the fifty-fifth year of his ministry.


Ernest was born on 27 September 1900 at South Shields, Co. Durham, to parents John Thomas Dover, a coal miner, and Elizabeth Moss.

He married Ada Lowes (1899-1983) in the spring of 1932 at South Shields, Co. Durham. Birth records identify two children.

  • John (b1933)
  • Alan (b1937)

Ernest died on 7 November 1882 at Salisbury, Wiltshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1928 Newcastle II
  • 1929 Northampton II
  • 1930 Bradford VII
  • 1932 Blyth &c
  • 1938 Ashington
  • 1942 Darlington S
  • 1950 Salisbury
  • 1962 Portsmouth M
  • 1966 Salisbury (S)


Methodist Minutes 1883/60

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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