Howells, Howard (1893-1979)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HOWARD HOWELLS: bom at Mastin Moor, Derbyshire, on 7th November 1893. He was brought up in the Sunday School and Christian Endeavour of the village Primitive Methodist chapel. On leaving school at the age of thirteen he went to work in the local colliery. He studied hard to respond to a strong call to serve as a Primitive Methodist minister. In the 1914-18 war he took his stand as a conscientious objector and was sent to prison for two years. 

After training at Hartley College, he gave faithful and devoted service in the following circuits. King’s Lynn, Brandon and Methwold, Bingley, Sunderland (III, William Terrace, and North), Skipton, Guiseley, Aireborough, Otley, Barnsley (East) and Bingley. His ministry at Ilkeston (1950-55) was typical. Under his energetic leadership in 1952 the centenary celebrations of Bath Street Church were marked by a major renovation scheme and a memorable re-opening. In 1954 he displayed great tact and patience in bringing together three circuits to form the Ilkeston Circuit.

He was a conscientious pastor, a fine preacher with a clear and direct message, and a kindly, friendly man with a great concern for people. Throughout his ministry and especially in his pastoral work, he received constant support from his wife Ellen. They lived in retirement in Barlborough, and when in 1972 he celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination, he declared that he would like to be known, not as a great preacher or a successful minister, but as a man of God. That is what he was, and is. 

He died on 25th April 1979 in the eighty-sixth year of his age and the sixty-first year of his ministry.


Howard was born on 7 November 1893 at Mastin Moor, nr Staveley, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, to parents John, a coal miner, and Mary Ann.

Before entering the ministry, Howard worked as a coal miner.

He married Ellen Bacon in the summer of 1922 at Mastin Moor Methodist Chapel, Staveley, Derbyshire. They had two daughters, Primrose and Violet, who were born and died in the first quarter of 1923.

Howard died in 25 April 1979 at Barlborough, nr. Chesterfield, Derbyshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1920 Kings Lynn
  • 1922 Brandon
  • 1925 Bingley
  • 1930 Sunderland III
  • 1935 Skipton
  • 1938 Guisley
  • 1942 Aireborough
  • 1944 Otley
  • 1946 Barnsley E
  • 1950 Ilkeston Bourne
  • 1954 Ilkeston
  • 1955 Bingley
  • 1958 Staveley (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1979/73

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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