Leech, William (1883-1965)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM LEECH: born at Macclesfield on 30 December 1883. He was trained at Hartley College and travelled in the following circuits: Cross Keys, Stoke Newington, Bishop’s Castle, Pocklington, Beverley, Shelford, Sturminster Newton, Stour Valley Mission (twice), Woodfalls, Leintwardine, Oakengates, Ramsey (Parliament St.) and Minsterley. From 1952 he spent some time in Warrington and Stoke-on-Trent where he exercised a gracious ministry as an active supernumerary.

He was blessed with a rich clear voice with which he preached convincingly the Gospel message and proclaimed the basic truths of the faith. A man of wide and varied interests, he was especially fond of sport and also enjoyed the world of nature. He loved people and revelled in a ministry that brought blessing to many. He was exceedingly glad that he spent a second term (1944-50) in the Stour Valley Mission and had the joy of bringing into membership those whom he had baptised a decade earlier. 

In 1957 he and Mrs. Leech went to live in the flat attached to Sedge Fen Chapel. There he exercised pastoral oversight of the Methodist Society. He was esteemed by the people of the district and much loved by the children in the small Sunday School of which he was Superintendent and which he controlled most efficiently, making use of modern equipment and techniques. After his wife died in 1962 he lived alone and turned his solitude into an opportunity to pray for his friends far and near, especially remembering preachers at the time of worship. 

He died on 26 January 1965, in the eighty-second year of his life and in the fifty-second of his ministry.

Family

William was born on 30 December 1883 at Macclesfield, Cheshire, to parents James, a cotton power loom overlooker (1901), and Elizabeth (Lizzie). he was baptised on 30 January 1884 at Macclesfield.

Before entering the ministry William also worked in a cotton mill.

He married Clara Bibby (1886-1962) in the summer of 1917 in the Burnley Registration District, Lancashire.

William died on 26 January 1965 at St Mary’s Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1913 Cross Keys
  • 1915 Stratford
  • 1917 Stoke Newington
  • 1920 Bishops Castle
  • 1923 Pocklington
  • 1926 Beverley
  • 1930 Sturminster N
  • 1934 Woodfalls
  • 1937 Leintwardine
  • 1938 Oakengates
  • 1941 Ramsey Parliament St
  • 1944 Stour Valley Mission
  • 1950 Minsterley
  • 1952 Warrington (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1965/194

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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