Peake, Leslie Sillman M.A. B.Litt. (1900-1984)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

LESLIE SILLMAN PEAKE. M.A.. B.Litt.: was born into one of Methodism’s most distinguished households at Hartley College, Manchester, on 4th April 1900. The Christian devotion of his parents. the Biblical scholarship of his father, Professor A. S. Peake, and the atmosphere of a home whose conversation was enriched by the visits of Christian leaders, shaped his character from his earliest days. 

He entered the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1922 and studied at Mansfield College, Oxford. where his father had been lecturer. Careful study. meticulous preparation and an ardent love of preaching were part of the inheritance which he brought to his ministry. Added to these was a love of literature evident in the reviews that he wrote and the talks that he gave, especially on Dickens and the Victorian poets. 

He served in the following circuits: Middlesbrough I; Birmingham V (Sparkhill); Preston; Penrith; Edinburgh (Nicolson Square); Falkirk. Stirling and Wallacestone; St. Ives (Bedford Road); and the Wye Valley Mission. 

In 1939 he married Marjorie who was to share the rest of his life and whose devoted companionship was such a strength to him. After retirement, he served the Tewkesbury Congregational Church for eleven years and was in great demand as a visiting preacher, continuing a valued pulpit ministry into his eighty-first year. This preaching of the gospel out of a disciplined mind, informed by a vigorous faith, and always from the Authorised version, was the driving force of his life. Throughout his ministry, that preaching was warmed by his shrewd understanding of people, the bright sallies of his wit and unremitting care for others. 

His last years were marked by declining strength. but his mind lost none of its sharpness, and his lively concern for the progress of the Methodist Church, which he loved and served throughout his life, was undiminished. He died on the 18th July 1984 in the eighty-fifth year of his age and the sixty-second of his ministry.


Leslie authored the following.

  • Arthur Samuel Peake, A Memoir

He edited Plain Thoughts on Great Subjects by Arthur S Peake


Leslie was born on 4 April 1900 at Manchester, Lancashire, to parents Arthur Samuel Peake and Harriet Mary Sillman.

During WW1, he served as a midshipman in the R.N.V.R.

He married Gladys Evelyn West (b abt1900) in the spring of 1925 in the Keynsham Registration District, Somerset. Birth Records identify two children.

  • Rosalind G (1926-2018)
  • Ruth M (b1928) – married Michael J Harris in 1964

He married Marjorie Witt (1901-1990) in the spring of 1939 in the Penrith Registration District, Cumberland.

Leslie died on 18 July 1984 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.


  • Mansfield Coll
  • 1922 Mansfield Ox
  • 1924 Middlesbrough I
  • 1931 Birmingham V
  • 1934 Preston Wes
  • 1938 Penrith
  • 1946 Edinburgh Nicholson Square
  • 1951 Falkirk &c
  • 1961 Wye Valley Mission
  • 1965 Tewkesbury (S)


Methodist Minutes 1985/83

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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