Lancaster, John Thomas (1891-1942)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN THOMAS LANCASTER: born at Cornsay, Co, Durham, in 1891. Trained at Hartley College, he entered the Ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church in 1917. All his labours were marked by efficiency. Supremely he was a man of valour, especially for the Gospel’s sake. He discerned the inner purpose of things, and what he believed he defended with all his powers of mind and heart. Like Bunyan’s Valiant-for-Truth he could say: “Little or more are nothing to him that hath truth on his side. I believed, and believing, I am come unto this place.” 

The secret of all his strength and triumph was the possession of a true mystical experience. This was only occasionally revealed in its depths, but rare sentences in his letters or in conversation showed how near he dwelt to the Spirit of God. 

He died on December 12, 1942, in the fifty-second year of his age and the twenty-sixth of his ministry.


John was born on 5 January 1891 at Cornsay, Co. Durham, to parents John, a colliery keeker (1901), and Ann.

Before entering the ministry, John worked as a draper’s assistant (1911).

He married Eleanor Robinson Wheeler (1894-1995) in the summer of 1920 in the Teesdale Registration District, Co. Durham. Birth records identify one child.

  • Eleanor Joy (b1930) – married Ronald L Bell in 1954

John died on 12 December 1942 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, Warwickshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1917 Colchester
  • 1920 Ely
  • 1924 Laxey
  • 1928 Glossop
  • 1933 Lymm & Altrincham
  • 1938 Birmingham Selly Oak


Methodist Minutes 1943/124

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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