Meadley, Thomas Donald B.A., B.D. (1909-1989)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS DONALD MEADLEY: born at Longdown in the New Forest on 29th December 1909. He was a son of the Rev George W Meadley and was educated at Epworth College, Rhyl, and Leicester University College, before entering Hartley Victoria College in 1930. He served in Tunstall (Jubilee), Nantwich (Hospital Street), Northampton (Kettering Road), Hull (Anlaby Road), Bristol (Kingswood Zion) and Leeds Mission Circuits, before being appointed Principal of Cliff College in 1957. After eight years he returned to circuit work in Newton Abbot before retiring to Cheltenham in 1974. It was in Cheltenham that he met and married Joan on 1st August 1939. 

Tom’s roots were deep in Primitive Methodism, but he never ceased to pay tribute to the profound influence of P.T. Forsyth upon his social and theological principles. He held old and tested truths tenaciously but was ever open to new truths from whatever source. This led to a breadth of vision that was both refreshing and prophetic. His strongly held convictions led him in 1963 to register a dissentient vote on the final Report to Conference on the Anglican/Methodist Conversations. The pain of those days never left him. He was the author of a number of books and pamphlets, the best known being his Top Level Talks, and in later years was called upon to assist in the revision of the Book of Offices, and in particular the order of service for the Burial or Cremation of the Dead. 

To the very end Tom never lost those qualities of courtesy, patience and tolerance which had made him a loved and respected minister in every circuit in which he served and among his many students at Cliff College. He is mourned with deep thankfulness by his devoted wife, Joan, his daughter, Margaret, and his sons, John and Robert. He died on 25th May 1989 in the eightieth year of his age and the fifty-sixth year of his ministry.


Thomas was born on 29 December 1909 at Longdown, Hampshire, to parents George William Meadley, a PM minister, and Florence May V McDonald.

He married Joan Mary Dye (1916-2010) on 1 August 1939 at St Mark’s Methodist Church, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Birth records identify three children.

  • Margaret (b1940)
  • John T (b1942)
  • Robert G (b abt1947)

Thomas died on 25 May 1989 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire..


  • Hartley
  • 1934 Stoke Tunstall
  • 1936 Nantwich Hosp st
  • 1940 Northampton Kettering Rd
  • 1944 Hull, Colt St
  • 1949 Bristol Kings Zion
  • 1952 Leeds Mission
  • 1957 Cliff College
  • 1965 Newton Abbot
  • 1974 Chelmsford (S)


Methodist Minutes 1989/61

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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