Pickering, William (1905-1972)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

 WILLIAM PICKERING: born in Hebburn-on-Tyne in 1905, was the son of a Primitive Methodist Minister. Though selected and trained by one section of the uniting church he was proud of the fact that he was ordained at the uniting Conference of 1933. He was always enthusiastic about schemes for Christian Unity.

Much of the earlier part of his ministry was spent in Cornwall, where, although his whole background hitherto was the North of England, he quickly won and held the affection of his people. Then he moved north once more spending six years as Superintendent in Stockport followed by eight years in Ripon. Again he returned to the West Country where his gifts, now at the height of their maturity, were of great value in his superintendency of the Bristol North Circuit which included Filton, centre of a large aircraft industry. 

Here his placid, unruffled nature and his thoroughness in application to detail were seen to the full. Above all he will be remembered as a man of infinite patience. He was loyal to his people and loyal to his colleagues. Anyone going to him was sure of a kind and sympathetic hearing and could be assured of advice born of a capacity for sound judgment. In all these things his deeply rooted Christian faith was apparent, but it was manifest too in his prayers in public which helped people perhaps even more than his sermons. 

He had some skill in colour photography and loved to picture flowers in clumps and clusters and individual blooms. In this was seen his love of the quiet and the simple even though from his probation onwards he seemed constantly to have been involved in schemes for building churches and engineering amalgamations. After some ill health he spent the last two years of his active ministry in a village in the Radstock Circuit and then retired to Cheddar for what all his friends hoped would be many happy years. But this was not to be. Within a year conditions arose which necessitated major surgery and after a long and testing time in hospital in which he was a Christian gentleman to the last, he died on 25th April, 1972, in the sixty-seventh year of his age and the forty-third of his ministry.


William was born on 17 September 1905 at Hebburn-on-Tyne, Co. Durham, to parents William Pickering, a PM minister, and Ethel Ann Weightman.

He married Jessie Humble (1908-2003) in the summer of 1935 in the Barton Registration District, Lancashire.

William died on 25 April 1972 at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.


  • Hartley
  • 1929 Kingston
  • 1933 Mexborough
  • 1934 Ramsor
  • 1935 St Austell
  • 1937 Bodmin
  • 1941 Newquay
  • 1947 Warrington
  • 1949 Stockport Mt T
  • 1951 Stockport S
  • 1955 Ripon
  • 1963 Bristol Ebenezer
  • 1964 Bristol N
  • 1968 Radstock
  • 1970 Cheddar (S)


Methodist Minutes 1972/193

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.