Metcalf, Joseph (1881-1946)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOSEPH METCALF: born at Chesterfield in 1881. He was one of many fine Methodist ministers who have come from the ranks of the miners. He first served as Lay Agent in Allendale, and from there was accepted for the Primitive Methodist Ministry. After training at Hartley College he served in circuits extending from Penrith in the north to Hastings in the south. 

Never robust in health, he was compelled to retire in 1940 after thirty years in the active Ministry. During the years that followed he endured great suffering, but no word of complaint ever passed his lips, and with marvellous faith he endured his affliction. He was of a quiet, retiring disposition, and never sought the prominent place. He was a great reader, and this found expression in the fine quality of his sermons. His humility of spirit endeared him to all who knew him and won for him a warm place in the affections of his brethren. Although suffering curtailed his ministry, it could not embitter that lovely spirit which enabled him to be so patient in tribulation. 

He was an accomplished violinist, and for five years he was an honorary member of the Newcastle Symphony Orchestra, where he played under the batons of Sir Henry Wood and Sir Hamilton Harty. 

He passed peacefully away on the 17th July 1946, in the closing days of his thirty-eighth year of ministry, at the age of sixty-four—a brave servant of Jesus Christ, the fragrance of whose life will ever be an inspiration to those who knew and loved him.


Joseph was born on 28 September 1881 at Hasland, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, to parents William, a blacksmith, and Rebecca.

Before entering the ministry Joseph was a general labourer (1901).

He married Ethel Hudson (4/10/1881-1965) in the summer of 1912 at Hasland Road Methodist Church, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Birth records identify two children.          

  • Cecily (1914-1996) – a shorthand typist (1939)
  • Fred Hudson (1917-2002) – a research chemist (1939)

Joseph died on 16 July 1946 at Bradford, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1908 Hastings
  • 1910 N Wandsworth
  • 1912 Manea
  • 1916 Penrith
  • 1918 Seaton Delaval
  • 1923 St Helen Auckland
  • 1927 Bradford II
  • 1932 Sowerby Bridge
  • 1937 Pudsey &c
  • 1940 Bradford (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1946/150

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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