Featherstone, Michael (1878-1950)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference.

MICHAEL FEATHERSTONE: born at Weardale in 1878. He was always proud of his birthplace because of its Methodist traditions and history. Early in his life his parents moved to Crawcrook, Co. Durham, where they shared in the work of establishing the Primitive Methodist Society. It was during a mission held by the Rev. H.M. Cook  that he was converted, and shortly afterwards he commenced preaching in the Blaydon-on-Tyne circuit. He spent a period of training in the Rev. J. Odell’s  home for evangelists in Birmingham, and eventually held successful missions in Scotland and the North of England, that at South Moor being outstanding. 

He entered Hartley College in 1906 and began a four years’ probation at Edinburgh in 1908. In every circuit where he served he was greatly loved, but perhaps his outstanding work was done during an eight years’ ministry at Glasgow. Here he laboured with enthusiasm, and through his leadership a heavy burden of debt was removed.

Michael Featherstone was primarily an evangelist, for his early training gave character to his ministry. The consciousness of his ‘high calling in Christ Jesus’ is nowhere better illustrated than in his ordination charge delivered as Chairman of the Scotland P.M. District in 1926. He spoke on, ‘Envoys for Christ. The Christian Ministry, Its Dignity, Authority, and Functions’. 

At the close of his active ministry in 1949, he welcomed the opportunity to render part-time service for a period of two years in the Newcastle Central and Sandyford circuit. He entered upon this work with characteristic vigour and enthusiasm, but it was soon evident that the task was beyond him. The end came suddenly on the 26th August 1950. On his way to a wedding he collapsed and in a few minutes had passed from us. He died as he would have wished, engaged in the work of his Master.


Michael was born on 15 June 1878 in Weardale, Co. Durham, to parents Ralph Featherstone, a coal miner, and Ann Rutherford.

Before becoming an evangelist Michael worked in a coal miner.

He married Joanna Peace (1883- of Kirkwall, Orkney Isles. Records identify three children.

  • Lilian Barrie Peace (1918-2014) – a teacher (1939)
  • James Weardale (1921-1991)
  • Ruth Anna (1921-1996) – married Geoffrey R Spencer in 1946

Michael died on 26 August 1950 in the Northumberland South Registration District.


  • Hartley
  • 1908 Edinburgh
  • 1912 Wickhambrook
  • 1914 Kennington
  • 1918 Glasgow II
  • 1926 W Hartlepool
  • 1927 Walsall
  • 1933 Mexborough
  • 1937 Stourbridge, Wesley
  • 1942 Coventry Paradise
  • 1946 Bedford Hass St


Methodist Minutes 1951/121

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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