McLean, Ernest Francis (1889-1967)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ERNEST FRANCIS MCLEAN: born in Manchester in 1889. It was while he was in business in Thetford that he heard and responded to the call to the Primitive Methodist Ministry. His early training in business laid the foundations of life-long habits of punctuality and efficiency that marked all his administrative work in his circuits. While a student at Hartley College he was given permission to join the R.A.M.C. during the First World War, and his association with Toc H was a reminder of those war years. 

He completed his probation in the South Wales Mission and then returned to serve as a minister in his home circuit of Thetford. Then followed extended periods of service in Wisbech, Silsden, Ilkeston, Grimsby (Flottergate), and the New Forest Mission. After retiring he spent a year as an active supernumerary in the Isle of Wight and then returned to Grimsby. 

He is remembered in all his circuits with gratitude and affection for firm but kindly administration, and as an able preacher and devoted pastor. In Grimsby he continued to give great help as an occasional preacher and a regular member of the congregation at Flottergate. It was typical of him that on the night before he entered hospital he very readily supplied for a local preacher who was ill and preached with his accustomed fervour. His brethren who knew him during the last few years in his Fellowship of the Kingdom group were impressed by his youthful outlook and by the breadth of his reading. 

He died suddenly in hospital on 1 September 1967, in the seventy-ninth year of his age and the sixty-first of his ministry.


Ernest was born on 3 August 1889 at Manchester, Lancashire, to parents William, an insurance agent (1891), and Annie. He was baptised on 4 September 1889 at St Saviour, Manchester.

The 1911 census return records Ernest  as a grocer’s assistant.

He married Dorothy Clarke (1895-1979 in the summer of 1921 at Thetford, Norfolk. Birth records identify two children.

  • Donald C (b abt1924)
  • Mary Dorothy (1926-2017) – married Michael L Coates in 1953   

Ernest died on 1 September 1967 at Scartho Road Hospital, Grimsby, Lincolnshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1917 H.M. Forces
  • 1920 S Wales Mission
  • 1921 Thetford
  • 1924 Wisbech
  • 1931 Silsden
  • 1938 Ilkeston
  • 1945 Grimsby Flott
  • 1953 New Forest M
  • 1959 Isle of Wight (S)


Methodist Minutes 1968/200

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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