Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
ALFRED EMMANUEL HUGH FIELDER: born in Purbrook, near Portsmouth, on 10th September 1904. His early education was at elementary school and then Olivers High School. He left school and went as an apprentice in the Royal Naval dockyard and worked as a pattern maker. He studied at evening classes to gain entry to University. In 1925 he went to King’s College, London, where he obtained a BSc in engineering. He candidated for the ministry and went to Hartley Victoria College and read Social Studies at’Manchester University. He then went to Westhill College, Selly Oak, where he met his future wife, Rachel.
The areas where Hugh served were very varied: East London and London Mission South East, Wimborne, Bolton Highbridge Street, Nelson, North Rhodesia District, United Church of Zambia and then as Warden of the Methodist International House, London. He retired to Haslemere but never ceased to love and serve. His nineteen years in Central Africa were very special. He had worked hard with the United Mission to the Copper Belt, gathering together the welfare and education work of all the churches as well as fulfilling his pastoral work with the United Free Churches. He served the European community through the European Free Churches, and the African community through the Church of Central Africa, and was able to bring to these churches the experience of the Methodist tradition. He was one of the few who sought to bring ministry and reconciliation to the industrial heart of Central Africa and stayed on after Independence was declared in Zambia to help set up the United Church of Zambia.
He returned home, believing it was right for African ministers and lay leaders to develop the work. His social conscience led him into work with the Westminster Pastoral Foundation. He was involved in helping to develop the Haslemere Pastoral Centre which became a Counselling Service. Then, together with Rachel, he embarked on another new venture, the development of the Marriage Growth and Enrichment Movement in the UK which was inspired by David and Vera Mace. Despite his years, he kept active in body and in mind; he loved his rural home with its special garden and worked hard to keep it in good shape, and he always had new books to read which he would share with his house group. Right to the end he was a man of action and service. He died on 22nd October 1999 in the ninety-sixth year of his age and the sixty-eighth year of his ministry.
Hugh was born on 10 September 1904 at Purbrook, Hampshire, to parents Herbert Seymour Fielder, a nurseryman and florist (1911), and Annie Lena Snook.
He married Elizabeth Rachel Hutchinson (1913-2008) in the summer of 1936 in the Surrey SW Registration District. Birth records identify four children.
- Robert J (b1938)
- Patrick R (b1940)
- Alistair R (b1942)
- Ursula J (b1946)
Hugh died on 22 October 1999 in West Surrey.
- 1932 E London
- 1936 Wimborne
- 1940 Bolton Higher Bridge St
- 1943 Nelson, Lancs
- 1949 N Rhodesia
- 1965 Zambia Utd Church
- 1968 MIH, Warden
- 1971 Supernum
Methodist Minutes 2000/34
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers