Larter, Laurence (1901-1983)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

LAURENCE LARTER, born in Hull on 22nd September 1901, where his family were prominent members of the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church. Shortly after the First World War he moved to Stretford, Manchester, where he was apprenticed to electrical engineering. There he met Hilda Wray who was to become his wife and a staunch companion and support of his whole ministry. It was a great disappointment to him that for medical reasons he could not go overseas.

After training at Hartley Victoria College and serving as a probationer in the East London Mission, he spent the whole of his ordained ministry in Yorkshire Circuits: York I, Helmsley, Thirsk, Batley, Leeds (Rothwell), Normanton, Leeds (Richmond Hill), Pateley Bridge, and Northallerton. It was a mark of dedication to his call to the ministry that on his retirement in 1968, he became an active supernumerary at Penyfford in the Buckley and Deeside Circuit. 

Because of failing health, he moved to Woking in 1979 to be nearer his daughters and the last fifteen months of his life were spent at Woodbank, the Woking Methodist Home for the Aged. 

The great strength of his ministry was his constant pastoral visiting and his willingness to do anything for anyone in or out of the church: sitting up with someone at night or welcoming a tramp to share the family lunch. As a Superintendent he took a great interest in his colleagues, and he was described as an ideal minister to teach a younger man what ministry was all about. Essentially cheerful and courageous in face of failing strength, he had a breadth of sympathy and concern. During the Religion and Life Campaign of the 1940s he worked alongside Basil Hume in mission. 

He was ardently interested in the colour problem, a vigorous advocate of Christian pacifism, finding inspiration in men such as Gandhi and Schweitzer, but above all in his deep faith in Christ. It was this last that enabled him to form lasting friendships in the circuits in which he travelled. His name is revered in the lives of many who knew him, a faithful servant of his Lord, and a dedicated Methodist minister. 

He died on 10th April 1983 in the eighty-second year of his age and the fifty-sixth year of his ministry.


Laurence was born on 22 September 1901 at Hull, Yorkshire, to parents Arthur Christopher Larter and Florence Lavinia. He was baptised on 21 October 1901 at Hull.

He married Hilda Lily Wray (1903-1989)  in the summer of 1931 at Stetford, Manchester, Lancashire. Birth records identify three children.

  • Sydney Peveril (1933-2012) – died in Grande Prairie, Canada
  • Maud M (b1936) – married Paul M Gilley in 1959
  • Florence C (b1938) – married Rajab A I M abu Saif in 1986

Laurence died on 11 April 1983 at Woking, Surrey.


  • Hartley
  • 1927 E London Mission
  • 1931 York I
  • 1933 Helmsley
  • 1936 Thirsk
  • 1940 Batley
  • 1945 Leeds Rothwell
  • 1947 Normanton
  • 1949 Leeds Rich Hill
  • 1955 Pateley Bridge
  • 1963 Northallerton
  • 1968 Woking (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1983/70

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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