Leafe, John Arthur (1900-1973)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN ARTHUR LEAFE: born at Woodborough, Nottinghamshire, on the 21st December, 1900. After serving two years as a non-collegiate he was trained for the Primitive Methodist ministry at Hartley College. During his ministry he travelled in the following circuits: Hay and Wangford as a non-collegiate, then Wisbech, King’s Lynn, Downham Market, Ipswich (Museum Street), Boston (Central), Haslingden, Derby and Long Eaton, where he retired in 1960 after a breakdown in health. 

For five years he served as Free Church Chaplain at Hollesby Bay Borstal Institution, and also for five years as officiating Free Church Chaplain at the R.A.F. station at Martlesham, Suffolk. He was a gifted preacher, an able administrator, and a most diligent pastor deeply imbued with a sense of the sacredness of his high calling: He never failed to win the confidence of his people and the admiration of his colleagues. 

The sincerity of his faith was always expressed in a radiant countenance and a cheerfulness of disposition. His life was one of complete devotion in small and great things alike. During his enforced retirement, which lasted for twelve years, he was unable through physical weakness to undertake preaching appointments, but even through the last few month of his life his mind was alert, and his interest in the work of the circuit remained. It was a thrilling experience for him to be invited to lay the foundation stone of a new church at Toton in the Long Eaton Circuit. 

He died peacefully at his home on the morning of Good Friday, 20th April, 1973 in the seventy-third year of his age and the fiftieth year of his ministry.


John was born on 21 December 1900 at Woodborough, Nottinghamshire, to parents John, a carrier (1911), and Sarah Jane.

He married Rose Ellen Coupland (1905-1997) in the spring of 1932 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

John died on 20 April 1973 at Long Eaton, Derbyshire.


  • 1923 Hay
  • 1924 Wangford
  • 1925 Hartley
  • 1927 Wisbech
  • 1929 Kings Lynn
  • 1932 Downham Market
  • 1937 Ipswich Mus St
  • 1942 Boston Cent
  • 1946 Haslingden
  • 1949 Derby Derwent
  • 1954 Derby East
  • 1955 Long Eaton
  • 1960 Long Eaton (S)


Methodist Minutes 1973/146

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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