Pittwood, Ernest Henry (1878-1954)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ERNEST HENRY PITTWOOD: born at London in 1878. After training at Hartley College, Manchester, he entered the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1903 serving in the following circuits: Burnley I, Castleford, Hull (Hessle), Nelson, Wrexham, London (Kilburn), Stoke Newington and Tottenham, and the Clapton Mission. 

All his life he was a keen student with a wide range of intellectual interests, particularly in the realms of theology, philosophy, sociology, and economics. Moreover, he was a man with a fine taste in literature, and possessed a great ability to express himself in the choicest language. He might have achieved distinction in a literary career, but he chose to work among men, to minister to all, and to labour for the Kingdom of Righteousness. His endeavours to relate the Christian Gospel to the life of the community as well as to that of the individual led him to take an active and leading part in the formation of the Christian Social Union, later to become incorporated into the Christian Citizenship Department of the Methodist Church. 

For many years and right up to his death, he was a member of the Connexional Christian Citizenship Committee, and was Chairman of the Standing Committee for Moral Welfare. He was keenly concerned to forward the cause of world peace, and was a member of the Stockholm International Conference for World Peace and Disarmament which met at the end of the first world war. He was closely associated with Methodist movements to improve international relationships. Yet these many interests were in no sense detrimental to his work as preacher and pastor. His preaching was thoughtful and convincing, and as a pastor he was faithful and zealous, ever ready with a helping hand and a kindly word. 

For the last seven years of his active ministry he served the poor and needy of East London, bearing the burden and braving the risks of mission work in a heavily bombed area. He was truly one who sought to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with his God, On relinquishing the active ministry, he took charge of a small church in the Tooting Mission, where he laboured faithfully for six years, the church making remarkable progress under his charge. 

He had accepted for a seventh year when he was suddenly called home on 19th December 1954, in the seventy-sixth year of his life and the fifty-second of his ministry.


Ernest was born on 2 September 1878 Bromley, London, to parents George Henry Pittwood, a shipwright (1901), and Frances Mary Collins.

Before entering the ministry Ernest worked as a draughtsman at a shipyard (1901).

He married Rosanna Davison (1886-1962) in the summer of 1907 in the Houghton le Spring Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify three children.

Constance Annie (b1908) – a teacher (1938); travelled to South Rhodesia in 1938

  • George Ernest (1909-1979) – a local government officer (1954)
  • Edwin Arthur (1911-1925)
  • Ernest died on 19 December 1954 at Hendon, Middlesex.


  • Hartley
  • 1903 Houghton le Spring
  • 1907 Burnley I
  • 1910 Castleford
  • 1914 Hull V
  • 1918 Nelson
  • 1923 Wrexham
  • 1929 Kilburn
  • 1934 Stoke Newington
  • 1936 Tottenham
  • 1941 Clapton
  • 1947 Hackney &c
  • 1948 Tooting (S)


Methodist Minutes 1955/127

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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