Hinchliffe, Wilfred Senior (1887-1960)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILFRED SENIOR HINCHLIFFE: born in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1887. He was fortunate in being the son of staunch Methodists. After a Grammar School education he served for a while as a mission-van evangelist, and lay pastor in the fishing village of Staithes. Trained at Hartley College he entered the Ministry in 1912, and travelled in Dover and Deal, Hastings, Braintree, Hull, Leicester, Grimsby, High Wycombe, Blackheath, Gainsborough, and Bingham. 

During his term at Bingham his eyesight failed, necessitating a serious operation, the after effects of which compelled him to retire in 1951. His years of rest were spent at Lydden, Dover. Although hampered in retirement by continuing impaired vision, he took a lively interest in Church work and frequently preached in Dover and neighbourhood. 

Several factors made his ministry memorable. His robust Christian character was one; he was a man among men. During the second World War he worked as a chaplain to an aerodrome in Lincolnshire. Yet in him there throbbed a tenderness of heart that endeared him to the old and those who suffered, making his pastoral ministrations rich. Young people never failed to fascinate him; indeed he had the joy, in a meeting at Hull, of receiving into Church Membership seventy-two adolescents whom he had personally trained. His was the ability to lead. 

In his Leicester Circuit he inspired the erection of new school premises at Countesthorpe; and at Naphill, during his High Wycombe superintendency, he saw the building of a new church. Faithfully and powerfully he declared the word of God. His love of his Lord, his wide reading and careful filing, his painstaking preparation, and his mastery of simple, homely, and often humorous illustrations gave his messages freshness and pungency. 

He died on 13 October 1960, in the seventy-second year of his age and the forty-ninth of his ministry.


Wilfred was born on 28 December 1887 at Dewsbury, Yorkshire, to parents George William, a water inspector (1911), and Mary.

He married Annie Harriet Lewis (1889-1982) in the spring of 1916 at Dover, Kent. Birth records identify two children.

  • Donald L (1918-1918)
  • Audrey Ruth (b1920) – married Leonard Smith in 1942

William died on 13 October 1960 at the Sandringham Hotel, Priory Road, Bournemouth, Dorset.


  • Hartley
  • 1912 Dover & Folkstone
  • 1914 Hastings
  • 1916 Halstead
  • 1919 Hull III
  • 1922 Leicester II
  • 1926 Grimsby I
  • 1930 High Wycombe
  • 1935 Blackheath
  • 1941 Gainsborough
  • 1946 Bingham
  • 1951 Dover (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920/386

Methodist Minutes 1961/208

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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