Harris, Clifford Thomas (1907-1998)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

CLIFFORD THOMAS HARRIS: born at Pentre in the Rhondda Valley, 9th October 1907. As a probationer he served in the Horncastle and Ripley (Wesley) circuits. After ordination at the Bristol Conference of 1935, he was appointed to Southampton, and later to Leominster. During this period at Leominster the Second World War broke out and he became an ARP Warden. 

He was a pacifist and the manse became a sanctuary for like minded men called up and drafted into the fire service and similar activities. In the Stourbridge Circuit, despite his convictions, he recognised the need of those serving in the armed forces and volunteered to the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department — leaving the circuit after one year. He saw active service in both Western Europe and India, receiving honours as well as service medals in both theatres, before being demobilised and returning to circuit ministry in the Nuneaton and Atherstone Circuit. 

At Birmingham (Wesley) he acted as District Youth Secretary and was sufficiently involved with the Peace Movement to provide accommodation for Pastor Martin Neimoller. He then served in the Southport (North) Circuit, and in the Alderley Edge Circuit where he was the Superintendent Minister. His final circuit was Liverpool (South) where he retired in 1974. 

At this time his wife Geania, a daughter of the manse, died. Her sister Vera, who had emigrated to Australia some years previously and was by this time herself a widow, arrived too late to provide support. Their lengthy friendship blossomed, and twelve months later Clifford and Vera were married and he joined her in Tasmania. On occasion he represented the Home Conference as fraternal delegate and then experienced the process, successfully accomplished, of seeing the Uniting Church of Australia formed. He continued as an active supernumerary functioning as a relief minister for a number of years in Parishes at Launceston and Swansea. 

Clifford died at ‘Aldersgate’, Launceston, on 22nd November 1998 in the ninety-second year of his age and the sixty-eighth year of his ministry.

Family

Clifford was born on 9 October 1907 at Pentre, Rhondda, to parents Wallace Alexander Harris, a house painter (1911), and Emily Green.

He married Virginia Florence Quick (1907-1973) in the summer of 1935 in the Sleaford Registration District, Lincolnshire. They had two children.

  • Clifford (b1937)
  • Richard (1940-2002)

He married Vera Elizabeth Wheddon, nee Quick (b1910) in the summer of 1974 in the Yeovil Registration District, Somerset.

Clifford died on 22 November 1998 at Launceston, Tasmania.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1931 Horncastle
  • 1933 Ripley
  • 1936 Southampton
  • 1938 Leominster
  • 1942 Brierley Hill
  • 1943 Chaplain, H.M. Forces
  • 1946 Nuneaton &c
  • 1949 Birmingham West
  • 1955 Southport N
  • 1962 Alderley Edge
  • 1970 Liverpool S
  • 1974 Liverpool (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 1999/38

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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