Morley, Laurence B.A., B.D. (1906-1979)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

LAURENCE MORLEY: born in Bradford on 2nd August 1906. He was educated at Grange Secondary School and Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. He was accepted for the Primitive Methodist Ministry and was trained at Hartley College, taking the B.D. of Manchester University. He offered for Overseas service, and, after a year of preparation and training as a teacher, began work in 1929 at the Kafue African Boys Training Institute in Northern Rhodesia. 

He was married in 1932 to Nellie Jowett; their three children were born in Africa. He also served in Kasenga, a rural circuit which included pioneer work, and in Chipembi. 

In 1946, for domestic and health reasons, he came into the home work and served the rest of his ministry in what is now the Lincoln District, in the following circuits; Gainsborough, Brigg, Alford, Epworth and Crowle, and as a supernumerary minister, in Scunthorpe. 

He was a pastor with a lasting love for all kinds of people, and with sensitive realism in his understanding of them. His preaching was grounded in a firmly held theology of the gospel and was expressed with a rare clarity. He gave to all his colleagues and people strong loyalty and steady affection; throughout his years in England he never ceased to be a champion of the African people he had known and loved so well. In both the Districts in which he served, he gained a quiet personal authority by his honesty of mind, realism in judgement, firmness of conviction and total dedication to Christ and his church. This was never plainer than during the years when he worked hard for the acceptance of the proposals for union with the Church of England. He saw the need for such a step in the mission of the church in this country, but never hid his determination to stand for the principles he most valued in Methodism, or his recognition, from experience, that no union takes place without the loss of that which is precious. 

His gifts as a teacher were of great value in the building up of Kafue, and again in the preparation of two Agreed Syllabuses of Religious Education for the Lindsey County Council. For the second of these, he was chairman of the Secondary panel. He not only left his mark on the documents themselves, but did a great deal to help teachers to use them well. He always had a special care for children and young people, and many of them came to know and serve Christ through his influence and teaching. The last day of his life was spent in teaching and preaching and in the renewal of pastoral friendships. 

He died in his sleep on 29th October, 1979, in the seventy-fourth year of his age and the fifty-first year of his ministry.


Laurence was born on 2 August 1906 at Windhill, Shipley, Bradford, Yorkshire, to parents Herbert Morley, an electrical contractor’s clerk (1911), and Florence Whitaker. He was baptised on 2 September 1906 at Shipley.

He married Nellie Jowett in 1932. The obituary above identifies that they had three children.

Laurence died on 29 October 1979 at Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1929 N Rhodesia
  • 1946 Gainsborough
  • 1955 Brigg
  • 1962 Alford
  • 1967 Epworth &c
  • 1972 Scunthorpe &c


Methodist Minutes 1980/72

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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