Hunter, William Clowes (1888-1953)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM CLOWES HUNTER: adorned, in the best sense of that word, that branch of the Methodist ministry in which he was nurtured and in the re-united Church which he welcomed with catholic understanding and enthusiasm. He was born in 1888 at Hull and trained in Hartley College. In all his circuits, most of them in the North, he was beloved and esteemed, and to all his people his gracious friendship was offered with constancy and generosity. He was a wise and faithful administrator, with a pastoral fidelity that was spiritually fruitful in the lives of many.

As a preacher of the Word he was searching, persuasive, and evangelical, and his sermons were always illumined by a great passion for his Lord. In the later months of his life, though often in weakness and frailty, he continued to preach, to his own joy and the gratitude of his hearers. His public prayers, in their phrasing and intensity, revealed the genuineness of his faith and declared him a man who walked humbly with his God. 

In earlier years he rendered to his Church conspicuous service with candidates for the ministry, and served in this connection as district secretary with patient and discriminating devotion. He was a practical believer in the brotherhood of the Methodist ministry, and on the rare occasions when he ventured on criticism it was always suffused with kindness and magnanimity. His courage and fortitude in grievous bodily affliction were an impressive commentary on the apostolic word: ‘The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness does not master it.’ 

He was a brother greatly beloved, a man who made and kept many friends. His gaiety and cheerfulness had deep roots, and through the long years of his ministry, his life was characterized by the integrity that befits a true Methodist minister, A lover of his fellows and an utterly devoted servant of Jesus Christ. He retired to a former circuit at Holland-on-Sea and entered into the larger life on March 24, 1953, in the seventy-first year of his age and the forty-sixth of his ministry.


William was born on 31 July 1881 at Hull, Yorkshire, to parents William Hunter, a joiner and builder, and Mary Woodliff.

William also trained as a joiner before entering the ministry.

He married Gladys Enid Duffield (1889-1973) in the summer of 1911 in the Forehoe Registration District, Norfolk. Birth Records identify one child.

  • Kenneth E (1916-1920)

William died on 24 March 1953 at Clacton on Sea, Essex.


  • Hartley
  • 1907 Wymondham
  • 1910 Norwich II
  • 1911 Saffron Walden
  • 1913 Hull VI
  • 1915 Glossop
  • 1920 Brighouse
  • 1926 Stalybridge
  • 1930 Newton & Hyde
  • 1934 Clacton on Sea
  • 1937 Stockport Lancashire Hill
  • 1938 Ebbw Vale
  • 1944 Northampton Kettering Rd
  • 1946 Bolton Higher Bridge St
  • 1948 Clacton (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1953/147

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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