Hopwood, Alfred (1908-1990)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ALFRED HOPWOOD: born in Hanley, Staffordshire, on 4th November 1908 and educated at Orme Boys’ School, Newcastle-under-Lyme, where he won a rare Mathematics Scholarship to Cambridge University. However, having begun preaching at sixteen, that honour was declined in favour of a call to the ministry.

On leaving school he entered Hartley College becoming Secretary and then serving in the following Circuits: Folkestone and Dover, Hay, Wye Valley Mission, marrying Frances Ellen Viggars who became dearly loved and enormously important to him through their fifty-four years together, as were the children she bore, Kenneth, Anne, Frances and of whom he was justly proud; Leith and Tranent, Chorley, Jarrow, Nottingham (North), Nottingham (West) including a chaplaincy to Nottingham University, Harwood, Burnley. 

Sadly ill health forced early retirement. Throughout he preserved a balance between intelligent, incisive, adventurous, honest thinking and faithful obedience, being a pastor and preacher of renown having a resonant voice, decisive in leadership, meticulous in preparation and administration. He enjoyed teaching, helping countless young people, through academic examinations, with local preacher and probationer studies and in mid-week groups. He communicated with young children, his addresses still being gratefully remembered. Such was the influence of the home, where he was the rock to whom the family turned, that all three children are committed to Christ and serve his church. He retained his interest in mathematics, Biblical Studies, Classical Music, English Literature, Cricket and Singing. 

To the last breath he loved the fellowship of the ministry, was an inspiration and wise counsellor to all who visited. A man of few words but with a quiet authority when he spoke, he died on 13th November 1990 in the eighty-third year of his age and the sixtieth year of his ministry.

Family

Alfred was born on 4 November 1908 at Hanley, Staffordshire, to parents Alfred Hopwood, a sanitary warehouseman (1911), and Martha Ellen Barratt.

He married Frances Ellen Viggars (1903-1993) in the summer of 1936 in the Newcastle under Lyme Registration District, Staffordshire. They had three children.

  • Kenneth (b abt1938)
  • Jennifer Anne (b1941)
  • Miriam Frances (b1943)

Alfred died on 13 November 1990 at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1931 Folkstone &c
  • 1933 Hay
  • 1935 Wye valley Mission
  • 1937 Edinburgh
  • 1940 Chorley
  • 1944 Jarrow
  • 1949 Nottingham N
  • 1956 Nottingham W
  • 1961 Gt Harwood
  • 1964 Burnley
  • 1966 Macclesfield (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1991/43

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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