Nicholls, John (1874-1951)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN NICHOLLS: born at Brownhills, Staffs, in 1873. Converted when only a child, the passing years but deepened his desire to dedicate his whole life to Jesus Christ and His service, and in due course he offered himself as a candidate for the Primitive Methodist Ministry. After training at Hartley College, he entered, in 1897, on an active ministry of fifty-three years, spent partly in English circuits, and partly on the Mission Field in Fernando Po. 

Blessed with an exceptional physique, no toil was too great for him. Everywhere he is held in affectionate remembrance. He had, moreover, considerable artistic skill, was a lover of music, and excelled as a photographer. 

At last even his great strength gave way, and a serious breakdown at Minsterley in March 1950 necessitated his retirement. In September he settled in Nottingham. He faced illness and disability with Christian courage, whenever possible joining in worship at the local church, devoting himself to reading, and interesting himself in current events, until all too quickly the Home Call came on Easter Thursday, the 29th March 1951, and he entered into the nearer presence of his Lord.


John was born on 1 January 1874 at Brownhills, Staffordshire, to parents John, a coal miner, and Esther.

John worked as a coal miner before entering the ministry (1891). 

He married Sarah Ethel Sadler (1882-1943) in the summer of 1903 at  Bulwell, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • Frederick John (1904-1997 – a schoolmaster (1939)
  • Arthur (1907-1963)  – a pharmacist (1951)                       
  • Oliver Guthrie (1910-1955)   – an accountant (1951)      

John died on 29 March 1951 at Bulwell, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1897 Unsworth
  • 1900 Nottingham V
  • 1901 Fernando Po
  • 1903 Sudbury
  • 1906 Rochdale
  • 1908 Hoyland
  • 1911 Alford
  • 1916 Brigg
  • 1918 Alfreton
  • 1919 Fernando Po
  • 1928 Wilton
  • 1933 Scotter
  • 1936 Micheldever
  • 1945 Bridgend


Methodist Minutes 1951/145

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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