Howe, Joseph Henry (1900-1965)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOSEPH HENRY HOWE: born in Moulton, Northants, in 1900. He was educated at St. Edmund’s School, Northampton, and joined the firm of Beatties, Auctioneers. Through the invitation of a friend, he went to the famous Grove Road Church (now Queensgrove) and was thrilled by the P.M. Conference held there in 1918. He took up local preaching and later enjoyed three full and wonderful years at Hartley College under Dr. Peake. As a Probationer he was for four years in charge of the Horwich Circuit (Lancs.) and afterwards served in Huddersfield, Harwood (Bolton) Glasgow, Brierfield, Oswaldtwistle, Rishton, Congleton, Blackheath (Birmingham) and West Bromwich. 

He was much attracted to the administrative side of Church life and kept a firm hand on all the business affairs of the Churches under his care. His Church publicity exhibited enthusiasm and originality. During his Glasgow term, he was Secretary of the Scotland District and, while in Lancashire Circuits, was Chapel Secretary for eight years. Entering the Ecumenical scene, about 1950 he became Secretary of the Churches’ Joint Planning Committee for all denominations in the area of the Blackburn Diocese and the North Lancashire Methodist District. A strong historical interest seen in his contributions to religious journalism, found full scope in his ministry at Mow Cop (Congleton), where, in 1957, he organised the Celebrations for the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Primitive Methodism, attended by 2,000 people, and he planned and edited the Handbook which is in itself a historic document. 

Ill-health prevented his sharing in the great event, but he recovered and was later able to negotiate the building of the fine suite of Youth premises recently opened at the Moor Street Church, West Bromwich. Always a careful student of the Word, he was fascinated by the historical background of biographical studies which featured largely in his preaching. He was greatly beloved as a Pastor, and during some months of weakness in his last Circuit he received outstanding kindness and consideration from his people. 

Retiring in 1964 he found a great welcome in the Keynsham Methodist Church (Bristol South) and felt himself surrounded by friends, so that his last year was one of great happiness and content. He died suddenly, apparently without a moment’s pain, on 23 June in the sixty-fifth year of his age and the fortieth of his ministry.


Joseph was born in 1900 at Moulton, nr Northampton, Northamptonshire, to parents Joseph Edward Howe, a furniture dealer (1911), and Sarah Jane Littler.

He married Emily Emma Herod (1899-2000), daughter of Rev. H.L. Herod, in the summer of 1929 in the Barton upon Irwell Registration District, Lancashire. Birth records identify one daughter.

  • Josephine M (b1934)

Joseph died on 23 June 1965 at Keynsham, Somerset.


  • Hartley
  • 1925 Horwich
  • 1929 Huddersfield
  • 1932 Bolton I
  • 1935 Glasgow
  • 1940 Nelson
  • 1944 Accrington
  • 1949 Gt Harwood
  • 1952 Congleton Kinsey St
  • 1958 Blackheath &c
  • 1960 W Bromwich Wes
  • 1964 Supernumerary


Methodist Minutes 1965/209

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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