Pearson, Henry (1903-1976)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HENRY PEARSON: born in Shotley Bridge on 20th October 1903, was a member of a small family, the son of a widow, and when accepted for the ministry in 1928 proceeded to Hartley College. He was a little shaken by his encounter with Biblical criticism, but weathered it by virtue of a strong native intellect and an intense devotional life. His ability on the football field also helped. He was ‘un-worldly-wise’—a college contemporary (a President of the Conference) said, ‘He was the saint of the college in our time.’ This reputation was unsullied throughout his ministry. 

His circuits were: Crowle, Kidderminster and Stourport, Durham, Stanley, Middlesbrough, Barnsley (East), Barnsley (West), and Chester-le-Street. During the war he had responsibilities for the advanced studies of ministers and many gathered in Durham for a monthly study day in a fellowship called the ‘Durham Quest’. He was later appointed a District Probationers’ Secretary and for thirty years he was an Old Testament tutor for local preachers’ correspondence courses. 

He was supremely the compassionate pastor. People loved him. His big smile, cherubic face and concerned heart made them feel that they mattered. Circuits sought to retain him. He never ceased reading the big books. His thoughtful, studious approach made him at home with the rising generation of educated young people. His natural shyness was overcome by his complete love of the Master. People were mistaken if they thought his unobtrusive way indicated any lack of courage and conviction. He was incapable of the uncharitable thought or the unkind judgement. 

Latterly moderate health slowed him up but he was fundamentally unaffected because he built his life on the things that are undying. He died on 23rd February 1976 in the seventy-third year of his age and the forty-fifth year of his ministry.


Henry was born on 20 October 1903 at Shotley Bridge, Co. Durham. I have not been able to identify Henry’s parents in online records.

He married Sarah Elizabeth Cook (1910-1991) in the summer of 1935 in the Prescott Registration District, Lancashire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Anne C (1937-1940)

Henry died on 23 February 1976 in the Garstang Registration District, Lancashire.


  • Hartley
  • 1931 Crowle
  • 1934 Kidderminster
  • 1938 Durham
  • 1945 Stanley
  • 1949 Middlesbrough
  • 1953 Barnsley E
  • 1959 Barnsley W
  • 1966 Chester le Street
  • 1971 Alfreton (S)


Methodist Minutes 1976/82

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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