Morrow, John William (1883-1974)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN WILLIAM MORROW: born at Sherburn Hill in the County of Durham on 12th November, 1883. He received an elementary education leaving school at the age of twelve to become a clerk in the local Co-operative Society. His parents and grandparents were Methodists and with this background and the vigorous piety of Durham Methodism he was brought to a rich experience of Christ and offered for the ministry. 

After training at Hartley College he began his ministry in Scotland in 1908. He was stationed in the Glasgow V Circuit and then in the Wishaw II Circuit afterwards moving back to his beloved North East where he travelled for the rest of his ministry in the Willington, Stanley, Hetton, Jarrow, Blyth and Seaton Delaval and Ryton and Prudhoe circuits. He became a supernumerary in 1953 in the North Shields and Whitley Bay Circuit. 

He was in the Hetton Circuit during the General Strike in 1926 and in Jarrow during the period of depression. In both these circuits he exercised a most gracious ministry in the homes of the people bringing to them in their time of stress spiritual and material comfort and help. Beneath a dour exterior was a gentle and compassionate heart. Throughout his ministry he was much loved by his people. He was a capable administrator and an excellent preacher. His sermons which were expository rather than topical gave evidence of careful and thoughtful preparation. He preached with force and conviction and led many people into an experience  of Christ. 

Lovingly cared for by his family after the death of his wife in 1963, his own death was hastened by a fall he sustained at his son’s home in Cullercoats. Until his accident he retained his faculties of hearing, sight and alertness of mind. His sense of humour he kept to the end and though physically restricted he loved to read, especially historical books. He looked forward to and so obviously enjoyed visits from his Chairman and ministerial brethren and greatly valued the Sacrament when it was brought to him. He possessed a good memory and his reminiscences about active circuit life were a joy to hear. 

All who knew him are thankful to God for a long, active and useful life of Christian service and devotion. He died in North Shields on Sth April 1974 in the ninety-first year of his age and the sixty-sixth year of his ministry.


John was born on 12 November 1883 at Sherburn Hill, Co. Durham, to parents William, a Prudential Assurance agent (1901), and Mary Ann.

John worked as a clerk in a Co-op store before entering the ministry (1901).

He married Isabel Davison (1884-1963) in the summer of 1912 at Durham, Co.Durham. Birth records identify two children.

  • Herbert Stanley (1915-2001) – a WW2 Conscientious Objector
  • Norman D (b1925)

John died on 5 April 1974 at Cullercoats, North Shields, Northumberland.


  • Hartley
  • 1908 Glasgow V
  • 1910 Wishaw II
  • 1914 Williington
  • 1920 Stanley
  • 1926 Hetton
  • 1933 Jarrow
  • 1941 Blyth &c
  • 1947 Ryton &c
  • 1953 N Shields (S)


Methodist Minutes 1974/148

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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