Laking, John Evans Ineson (1902-1986)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN EVANS INESON LAKING: born at Hull on 12th November 1902. He was educated at Craven Street Secondary School, and on leaving school, entered a solicitor’s office. At the age of fifteen he became a member of a lively Christian Endeavour class at the Great Thornton Street Primitive Methodist Chapel in Hull, which had a marked influence upon his life. He was converted to Christ under the ministry of the Rev. Bill Swales, a minister who made a lasting impression upon him. 

When he began to preach at the age of eighteen, his outstanding gifts as a preacher were quickly recognised. One report at the time spoke of the circuit being ‘startled’ at the appearance of this young preacher in their midst. A year later the Quarterly Meeting passed a resolution requesting him to offer for the ministry. The thought had not crossed his mind as he had thoughts of becoming an accountant. Recognising that God was calling him to the ministry, he replied saying, ‘If I have gifts, as you say I have, then they must be used for the best.’ 

This was characteristic of him. All his life he sought to give of his best in the preaching and pastoral work of the ministry. He exercised a remarkable preaching ministry of unusual power. God used him to bring people to Christ through his preaching and prayers. In remembering him after many years, people recall sermons he preached which were a blessing and inspiration to them. People remember him also for the attentive way he listened to their problems, and for the advice and comfort he gave. His was a very warm personality. ‘He radiated happiness to others’ is how someone speaks of him. He was a very lively person with a rich sense of humour. 

In 1931, shortly after leaving Hartley Victoria College, he married Gladys Shepherd, daughter of the Rev. Ewart Shepherd. In her he found the perfect comrade. They were at one in the work of the ministry, so that it is impossible to think of one without the other. In her own way, she was as gifted as her husband, and together they exercised a most effective ministry. More than one church remembers them because of the way a declining cause revived under their ministry, and went on from strength to strength.

After training at College, he served in the following circuits: Bottesford, Loughborough, West Bridgeford (Nottingham), Brunswick (Sheffield), Smethwick, Fleetwood and Middleton. After retiring to Lytham St Annes for several years, they later moved to Ryde in the Isle of Wight, where he continued his remarkable preaching ministry until the last few months of his life. 

He was greatly loved by both young and old alike. Children listened to him spellbound as he preached the Gospel from objects which he would bring out of a black bag. He lived in the present day; his illustrations were always up to date, and he was equally up-to-date with his reading. His heart and soul were in the preaching of the Gospel. He was very proud of his roots in Primitive Methodism with its emphasis on evangelical preaching. He was also very appreciative of the kindness and care which others showed him, and not least for the great love and kindness which his son, Norman, showed him in the years after his wife died. He had a distinctive way of saying ‘thank you’, putting a lot of feeling into the words. We remember him with great affection and joy, and praise God for his life and ministry. He died in St Mary’s Hospital in Newport on 3rd February 1986, in the eighty-fourth year of his age and the fifty-ninth year of his ministry.


John was born on 12 November 1902 at Hull, Yorkshire. He was the adopted son of William, a railway worker (1911), and Isabella Laking.

He married Gladys Gwendoline M Shepherd (1898-1977) in the summer of 1931 at Worcester, Worcestershire. Birth Records identify one child.

  • Norman Robert (1933-2016)

John died on 3 February 1986 at Newport, Isle of Wight, Hampshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1927 Bottesford
  • 1931 Loughborough
  • 1934 Nottingham Mayfield
  • 1935 Nottingham South
  • 1938 Sheffield Bruns
  • 1942 Macclesfield
  • 1950 Birmingham Smeth
  • 1955 Fleetwood
  • 1960 Middleton
  • 1968 Lytham (Sup)


PM Minutes 1886/71

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Birth records suggest he was registered as John Jacob E Ineson in Oct-Dec 1902 in the Lancaster Registration District.

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