Harper, Wilfrid M.A. (1895-1963)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WIFRID HARPER, M.A.: born in Lye, near Stourbridge, in 1895. He spent his early years in Tunstall and the neighbourhood; from 1915 to 1919 he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. After training at Hartley College, Manchester, he entered the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church in 1920. He served the following circuits: London Mission, Faringdon, Hull, Middleton, Poynton, Stoke-on-Trent, until his retirement in 1960. 

During his Middleton period he gained the Manchester M.A. degree in the field of psychological studies. Later he was elected Fellow of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain, and became a member of its examining board. 

His natural aptitude for detail eminently fitted him for secretarial duties and he served the Church thus at many points, but notably as secretary of the Hartley Victoria College Committee, to which service he gave himself devotedly for more than sixteen years, extending his duties to an extent far beyond the actual demands of the office. 

He will be remembered as a true preacher of Christ’s gospel, for which work he prepared with all diligence; yet it was probably through his fine pastoral care that his deepest ministry was exercised. Gracious in personality and with welcoming friendliness he could deal tenderly with the human soul at the deepest levels of experience: he was a true counsellor in Christ’s Name. He was a true shepherd of the flock. 

He died on 19 March 1963, in the sixty-eighth year of his age and the forty-third of his ministry.


Wilfrid was born on 7 May 1895 at Lye, Stourbridge, Worcestershire, to parents Anthony, a manager at iron works (1901), and Mary. His brother, Thomas, was also a PM minister.

He married Mary Louisa Brain (1892-1969) in the summer of 1924 at Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.

Wilfrid died on 19 March 1963 at Burslem, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.


  • 1918 London Mission SE
  • 1920 Hartley
  • 1922 Kennington park
  • 1924 Farringdon
  • 1926 Hull III
  • 1930 Hull I
  • 1935 Middleton
  • 1945 Poynton
  • 1952 Hazel Grove
  • 1953 Stoke – Burslem
  • 1962 Stoke (S)


Methodist Minutes 1963/201

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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