Parsons, Walter Williams (1897-1979)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WALTER WILLIAMS PARSONS: born in Crewe, on the 17th November 1897. At an early age he dedicated himself to the work of his Lord, and was accepted for the ministry, and trained at Hartley College. In 1921 he was sent to the Earsdon Church, in the North Shields Circuit, as their first resident minister. He was there at the time of the miners’ strike, and remembered vividly the great spiritual awakening in that area, as a result of the prayer meetings held in the Shiremoor Chapel. 

Always the evangelist, he never stinted his time or talents in witnessing for his Lord. Blessed with a ‘trumpet voice’, there never was a danger of those, either in the open air or sitting on back pews, not hearing his message. After his ordination at the Glebe Church, South Shields, he was sent as a married minister to the Bradford Second Circuit. Later, he accepted the invitation to return to the North-East, and for the rest of his ministry served within the Newcastle District. His circuits were: Blyth, Seaton Delaval, Newcastle (Central 1 and Sandyford) (two terms), Ashington, Hetton, Blyth and Seaton Delaval, Jarrow and Sunderland (South)

He retired in 1965, returning to Gosforth, where for ten years he served as a most energetic supernumerary. Following a serious illness, he removed for the last few years to live with his daughter and son-in-law at Ashington. He spoke often of the privilege and delight of being called to the service of his Lord, and of being the means of seeing others, through his life and preaching, commit themselves to the Service of Christ. Within the District he will be remembered as a most conscientious secretary concerning property matters, while circuit and church meetings were conducted with insight and understanding. He had broad interests outside the Church, reading widely, and he could converse informatively on many matters. 

He died peacefully on 31st January 1979 in the eighty-second year of his age, and the fifty-ninth year of his ministry.


Walter was born on 17 November 1897 at Crewe, Cheshire, to parents George, a fish fryer (1897) and later an insurance agent (1911), and Lily. He was baptised on 12 December 1897 in the Sandbach PM Circuit.

He married Edith Eleanor Smith (1899-1965) in the summer of 1924 at Crewe, Cheshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Peggie Gertrude (1926-1979) – married Raymond Robson in 1949
  • Donald Smith (1931-1971)

Walter died on 31 January 1979 at Ashington, Northumberland.


  • Hartley
  • 1921 North Shields
  • 1924 Bradford II
  • 1927 Blyth
  • 1932 Seaton Delaval
  • 1937 Newcastle Cent
  • 1941 Ashington
  • 1947 Hetton
  • 1950 Blyth &c
  • 1956 Jarrow
  • 1960 Sunderland S
  • 1962 Newcastle Cent
  • 1965 Newcastle (S)


Methodist Minutes 1979/81

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for this page. This is my Uncle Walter (technically my Granduncle) – brother of my maternal grandmother. Although he died when I was 13 I remember visiting him and other family in the North East and what lovely people they all were.

    By Phil Stubbington (21/11/2022)

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