Holly, John (1909-1986)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN HOLLY: born at Tredegar, South Wales on 18th January 1909. He was educated at Newport Grammar School and later entered the insurance business. He was accepted for our ministry and was trained at Hartley Victoria College subsequently serving his probation years in Stratford-upon-Avon. After ordination he went to the Chatham Garrison and Naval Port Mission where in 1939 he married Wendy who was to enrich his ministry in all his circuits. 

He travelled in the Maidstone, Chatham, Luton, London (Brixton Hill), Tiverton, and Wadhurst Circuits and when Wadhurst amalgamated with Tunbridge Wells in 1974 he stayed on for a further two years as an active supernumerary. Finally in 1976 he retired to the Cheddar Valley (later West Mendip) Circuit where he resided at Banwell for the remainder of his life. 

A frustrating illness persisted for some ten years and he was unable to speak, and towards the end found it extremely difficult to communicate in any way. He was, however, a man of great charm and in that long illness revealed his abounding courage and graciousness. In all his Circuits he will be remembered as a man of great compassion and gentleness, a born pastor and a meticulous administrator, and one whose preaching revealed a deep personal friendship with his Lord. Throughout the years, and particularly during that long final illness he was wonderfully supported by Wendy his wife and to her and their son David many will give the assurance of their thankful prayers. He died on 14 March 1986 in the seventy-eighth year of his age and the fifty-first year of his ministry.


John was born on 19 January 1909 at Tredegar, Monmouth, to parents John Holly, a butcher, and Maud Turner.

He married Ethel May Overton (1911-2002) in the summer of 1939 in the Fulham Registration District, London.

John died on 14 March 1986 at Axbridge, Somerset.


  • Hartley
  • 1934 President’s List
  • 1937 Chatham Garrison
  • 1941 Maidstone
  • 1946 Chatham Garrison
  • 1951 Luton
  • 1957 London Brixton
  • 1963 London Streatham
  • 1964 Tiverton
  • 1970 Wadhurst
  • 1974 Tunbridge Wells (S)


Methodist Minutes 1986/68

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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