Pearce, Joseph (1891-1967)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOSEPH PEARCE: born at Brierfield, Burnley, in 1891, he was the son of a distinguished Primitive Methodist minister. The major part of his education was received at Bristol Grammar School. He heard the call to preach at the age of eighteen and two years later was accepted as a candidate for the ministry and was sent at once as an assistant to the superintendent of the Glascote Circuit. He trained at Hartley College and spent his probation in the Ludlow and Redditch Circuits.

He was ordained in 1915 and went on to serve with great acceptance in the following circuits: Nantwich, Burland, Clun, Talke, Sandbach, Manchester (Newton Heath), Colchester and Great Bentley, and then again in the Nantwich Circuit. 

His great gifts of administration were highly valued in the circuits where he served as superintendent. But he also had other gifts which were unstintingly used for his Church. He was a talented musician and he trained both adult and junior choirs to serve their church more worthily. He was a keen sportsman. Having captained Hartley at football he went on to play cricket in several of the towns where he was stationed and up to the time of his last illness was a distinguished bowls player. These activities he saw as an extension of his ministry. But it was in the pulpit that he reigned and his passionate evangelism led many to a deeper knowledge of their Lord and of their faith. 

He died on 15 May 1967, after a long illness and much pain courageously borne in the seventy-fifth year of his age and the fifty-second of his ministry.


Joseph was born on 11 August 1891 at Brierfield, Burnley, Lancashire, to parents Joseph Pearce, a PM minister, and Edith Palmer.

He married Nellie Chatwin (1893-1984) in the summer of 1919 in the Dudley Registration District, Staffordshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Brian (1920-1993) – a bank clerk (1939)
  • Beryl Margaret (1927-2013) – married Harold J Brand in 1949

Joseph died on 15 May 1967 in the Ruthin Registration District, Denbighshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1915 Ludlow
  • 1917 Redditch
  • 1919 Clun
  • 1922 Talke
  • 1923 Nantwich
  • 1927 Sandbach
  • 1932 Manchester Newton Heath
  • 1935 Colchester (S)
  • 1941 Great Bentley
  • 1947 Nantwich &c
  • 1955 Colchester (S)


Methodist Minutes 1967/203

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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