Payne, Richard James (1889-1967)

Christian Messenger 1920


RICHARD JAMES PAYNE : born at Middlesbrough in 1889. After service as a lay pastor at Aldershot he entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1915 receiving his training at Hartley College. He served in the following circuits: Birmingham VI, Pocklington, Swindon II, Leeds II, Ripon, Birmingham I, West Hartlepool, Hull, Stepney, Bedford, Cald. St, Bedford South, Silchester, Towcester, Lincoln South. After retiring from the full work he became an active supernumerary in the Harrow Circuit. He was a conscientious and faithful minister. As a pastor he identified himself closely with the lives of his people, and cared for their needs with warm affection. As a preacher he demanded much of himself in careful preparation. He always proclaimed the Word of God under a reverent sense of responsible privilege. He brought to the work of circuit administration a detailed mind, and was wise and far-seeing in his judgements. He had no other ambition that to be a faithful servant of the Kingdom, and honoured this vocation by offering all of himself to whatever circuit appointment he held. His family life meant much to him. The death of his wife in 1943 was a great grief to him. He was proud of his two sons – one of whom entered the ministry of the Church of England. He was glad to make great sacrifices to provide them with the best of education. He watched their subsequent careers with increasing satisfaction. In 1963 he went to reside in Hove, Sussex. His health had now begun to fail, and after this time he was never able to preach again. He bore the increasing limitations of uncertain health with cheerful courage. He died peacefully in a Brighton nursing home on 9 March 1967, in the seventy-eighth year of his age and the fifty-second of his ministry.


Richard was , to parents Richard James and Isabella. Richard, senior, was a ship’s compass maker (1911).

Before entering the ministry Richard worked as a baker and confectioner.

Richard married Nellie Staveley (abt 1886-1943) in the summer of 1919 at Pocklington, Yorkshire. Birth records identify three children.

  • Rosalyn (1923-1923)
  • Ronald Staveley (1926-2013) – foreign correspondent for the Telegraph and author of books on espionage
  • Richard Derek (1929-1997)

Richard died on 9 March 1967 at Brighton, Sussex.


  • Hartley
  • 1915 Birmingham Mission
  • 1916 Pocklington
  • 1919 Swindon II
  • 1921 Leeds II
  • 1924 Ripon
  • 1929 Birmingham I
  • 1931 W Hartlepool
  • 1936 The Hartlepools
  • 1938 Hull Stepney
  • 1941 Bedford Cald
  • 1942 Bedford S
  • 1948 Silchester
  • 1950 Towcester
  • 1953 Lincoln Alds
  • 1957 Lincoln Cen
  • 1959 Lincoln (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1967/198

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • R Cooper in Memories of Methodism in Wilstead wrote of Richard Payne that he was ‘probably best remembered by his dry humour and wit. We had an example of this when he preached his first service in our church by saying “I have the pleasure of being here, and you have the Payne!” ‘

    By Tim Banks (21/10/2016)

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