Dyer, Francis James Collett (1881-1967)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

FRANCI JAMES COLLETT DYER: born in Oxford in 1881. He began preaching in his early teens. He never ceased to be thankful for his training at Hartley College and for the friendships formed there. His ministry was spent in Southend-on-Sea, Witney, Bristol, Chippenham, Forrest Gate, Leeds, Barnsley, Pontefract, and Trowbridge. He retired to Leeds, where in the South Circuit he served for several years as an active supernumerary. 

Unusually successful in work among young people, he was Youth Committee Secretary in four Districts. Prior to Methodist Union he was twice elected chairman of the District Synod. He prepared for the worship and preaching of his services, whether in town or remote village, with commendable care. His people found in him a true shepherd of souls to whom they could turn easily in times of joy, difficulty, and sorrow. It was mainly through personal friendship that his evangelical zeal was exercised. Difficult situations did not daunt him but were faced with courage and resolution. 

His wife pre-deceased him by twenty years; his son, the Rev. Charles W. Dyer, is in our ministry. Many will gratefully remember his integrity, winsomeness, courtesy, humour, and, above all, one who lived in the love of his Lord and who desired no greater honour than to be a faithful minister. He died on 13 February 1967, in the eighty-sixth year of his age and the sixty-second of his ministry.


Francis was born on 10 October 1881 at Oxford, Oxfordshire, to parents William, a bookmaker (1891), and Sarah.

Before entering the ministry, Francis worked as a clothier and cutter (1901).

He married Bessie Maud Portnell (1880-1946), daughter of Rev Charles Portnell, in the summer of 1909 at Christchurch, Hampshire. Census and birth records identify three children.

  • Enid Mary (1910-1969) – an elementary school teacher (1939)
  • Margaret E (b abt1913)
  • Charles William (1917-1979) – a Methodist Minister

Francis died on 13 February 1867 at Leeds, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1905 Southend
  • 1909 Witney
  • 1913 Bristol IV
  • 1916 Chippenham
  • 1921 Forest Gate
  • 1927 Leeds V
  • 1931 Barnsley I
  • 1935 Pontefract Micklegate
  • 1940 Trowbridge &c
  • 1946 Leeds, Bramley (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1967/196

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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