Ivatt, William Henry (1902-1987)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM HENRY IVATT: born at Weston Hills, near Spalding, on 26th November 1902, the eldest son of a farmer. The influence of his christian home life whilst working for his father, led him to local preaching in the Donnington Primitive Methodist Circuit, and, in 1925, entry to Cliff College. He served in the Stafford Primitive Methodist Circuit prior to entering Hartley College in 1929. 

His probationary years were spent in the Bradford (Woodhouse Grove) Circuit. After ordination at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1936 his ministry in circuits continued at Tamworth and Lichfield, Brandon and Deerness Valley, Durham City, Gainsborough and Louth. His last two circuits were as Superintendent at Brigg and finally at Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury prior to retirement to Bourne in Lincolnshire in 1970. 

In 1936 he married Annie née Mabbott of Pinchbeck West, Spalding, who fully shared in his ministry until her early death in 1950 after a long illness. His later ministry and retirement were shared by Marcia née Smith of Tamworth, whom he married in 1963. 

He worked unswervingly to fulfil his call to the ministry. He was an early secretary of Durham Big Meeting, and his pastoral care extended to prison, RAF, hospital and school chaplaincies which have known his selfless, deep concern. Throughout his ministry his own great faith shone through, reaching out to others with his care and compassion. He was always sincere and dignified in leading worship; thoughtful and effective in his preaching. His keen interest in young people had a far reaching influence. In his ministry and retirement he supported the Fellowship of the Kingdom, the local Bible Society Group, and welcomed the fellowship and friendship of his colleagues. He was an avid reader and gardener, and was interested in sport. Despite a serious illness soon after retirement, which restricted his strength, he remained active, both preaching and regularly presiding at Communion services. 

He died, active to the end, on 25th January 1987, leaving a widow, a daughter Jean, and two grandchildren Andrew and Joanna of whom he was justly proud, in the eighty-fifth year of his age and the fifty-fifth of his ministry.


William was born on 26 November 1902 at Weston Hills, Lincolnshire, to parents William Charles Ivatt, a farmer (1911), and Sophia Harriet Mews.

He married Annie Elizabeth Mabbott (1902-1950) in the summer of 1936 in the Spalding Registration district, Lincolnshire. Birth records identify one child.

  • Jean M (b1937) – married Stuart G Marshall in 1960

He married Marcia Iris Smith (1914-1989) in the spring of 1963 at Atherstone, Warwickshire.

William died on 25 January 1987 at Bourne, Lincolnshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1932 Bradford VII
  • 1936 Tamworth & Lichfield
  • 1939 Brandon &c
  • 1945 Durham
  • 1951 Gainsborough
  • 1956 Louth
  • 1962 Brigg
  • 1967 Bury St Edmunds
  • 1970 Bourne (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1987/75

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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