Loveday, Joseph Fryer (1882-1977)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOSEPH FRYER LOVEDAY: born at Hoyland, near Barnsley, on 10th June 1882. He attended the local Board School and began part-time work at the age of ten. The Primitive Methodist circuit quarterly meeting requested him to study to become a local preacher and two years later to offer for the ministry. His father and brothers made provision for him to enter Hartley College in 1904. He was sent on supply to the Portsmouth Circuit in 1906, to have charge of twelve churches. After ordination he went to the Ashington Circuit. 

In the First World War he was stationed in the Hetton Circuit where he kept in close touch with those away from home and gave unrelenting pastoral care to their families. He then served in the following circuits: Castleford, Birkenhead I, Tredegar, Wolverhampton II, West Bromwich I, West Bromwich (Queen Street), Manchester (New Islington), Bristol (Ebenezer) and Bristol (Kingswood). When he was in South Wales there were only two men in the circuit not involved in the General Strike. He stood with the miners and their families then and, soon afterwards, when more than sixty men were killed in a colliery disaster, he brought the comfort of Christ to the broken-hearted and conducted over thirty funerals in a few days. Here he was seriously ill for six months but, despite the fears of the doctors, he made a determined recovery. 

His terms in Bristol coincided with the Second World War when as an effective preacher and diligent pastor he brought the hope and consolation of the Gospel to his people in a battered city. When in South Wales he was District Chairman and secretary of many District Committees, he was a member of the last Primitive Methodist Conference and of the Uniting Conference of 1932. 

At the age of sixty-five, a year before superannuation, he became part-time hospital chaplain at Frenchay, where he exercised a gracious ministry until he was eighty. After the death of his wife, Alice, his helper through the years, he moved to Birmingham, living at Hall Green and then Selly Oak, before going to Sheringham a few weeks before he died. 

The high ideals of his early years set the pattern for his ministry. His genius for friendship meant that people quickly offered him their confidence. An intrepid soldier of Christ, he was always humbly aware of his slender equipment, yet he never shrank from the demands of the battle, nor complained about the terms of his service. 

He died on 7th September 1977 in the ninety-sixth year of his age and the seventy-second year of his ministry.


Joseph was born on 10 June 1882 at Hoyland, Yorkshire, to parents Robert Loveday, a boiler maker (1891), and Emma Fryer.

The 1901 census return describes Joseph as a bootmaker’s apprentice.

He married Alice Smales (1883-1958) in the summer of 1910 in the Barnsley Registration District, Yorkshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Leslie Smales (1911-2000) – office manager for credit company (1939)
  • Rita (1913-1997) – a chiropodist (1939); married John E Traxson in 1940

Joseph died on 7 September 1977 at Sherringham, Norfolk.


  • Hartley
  • 1906 Micheldever
  • 1907 Portsmouth
  • 1910 Ashington
  • 1913 Hetton
  • 1918 Castleford
  • 1922 Birkenhead I
  • 1926 Tredegar
  • 1930 Wolverhampton II
  • 1932 W Bromwich I
  • 1935 Manchester New Isl
  • 1938 Bristol Ebenezer
  • 1944 Bristol Kings
  • 1948 Bristol (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1978/83

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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