Hutchinson, Joseph James (1885-1963)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOSEPH JAMES HUTCHINSON: born in Durham City in 1885. Educated at the Blue Coats school, he entered the Post Office and then did craft design, while at the same time continuing his education at evening classes. Accepted as a candidate for the ministry, he was trained at Hartley College, Manchester, and entered the ministry in 1913. 

He travelled in the following circuits: Burslem, Coalville, Pontypool, Long Eaton, Wakefield, Haslingden, Macclesfield (nine years), Rotherham and Tadcaster. 

In his circuits he was known as a man possessing great physical energy who used this in untiring devotion to the churches under his care. He had great gifts and graces. He was painstaking and meticulous. A saintly man, patient, kindly, sympathetic, generous and understanding. A diligent pastor, he was greatly beloved and all who knew him always spoke of him with love and affection. He loved to travel. He had an alert and receptive mind. Throughout his life he remained a student with a wide range of interests which included theology, history, philosophy and art. 

To keep his mind alert in retirement, he undertook the study of the German language at the age of seventy-two and achieved proficiency. For the last three years of his life he was an invalid, but maintained his intense interest in people, churches and books. His radiant Christian faith shone through his sufferings. 

He died at his home on the 6 December 1963, in the seventy-eighth year of his life and the fifty-first of his ministry.


Joseph was born on 31 December 1885 at Durham, Co Durham, to parents Joseph, a coke man (1901) and Mary.

In 1901 Joseph worked as a telegraph messenger.

He married Mary Elizabeth Place (1889-1963) in the summer of 1917 at Durham, Co. Durham. Birth records identify four children.

  • Lilian Ray (1918-1996) – married John D Stuart in 1943
  • John Kenvyn (1920-2010) – a PR officer (1963)
  • Douglas James (1921-2017) – a stationmaster (1963)
  • Monica Mary (1927-2001) – married John E Topley in 1980

Joseph died on 6 December 1963 at Rawmarsh, nr Rotherham, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1913 Burslem
  • 1917 Coalville
  • 1918 Pontypool
  • 1921 Long Eaton
  • 1925 Wakefield II
  • 1928 Haslingden
  • 1935 Macclesfield
  • 1944 Rotherham
  • 1951 Tadcaster
  • 1955 Rotherham (S)


Methodist Minutes 1964/198

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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