Ridley, John Robert B.A., B.D. (1900-1959)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN ROBERT RIDLEY B.A., B.D. : born at South Hetton, County Durham, in 1900. He was trained for the Primitive Methodist Ministry at Hartley College and Manchester University. Leaving college in 1925, he ministered successively in Glasgow, Yarmouth, Gainsborough, Houghton-le-Spring, Manchester, Hull, Bridlington, and Kendal. From 1942 to 1946 he served as a chaplain in the R.A.F., and was appointed a Staff Chaplain in 1944. 

He possessed those qualities which make for both strength and gentleness. He was a man of unswerving integrity and unfailing courtesy; and he commanded the respect of his brethren and his people in all his circuits, because he was so obviously sincere and free from all self-seeking. To know him as a colleague and to be counted his friend was an enriching experience.

Always a keen student, he read widely and wisely, as was evidenced in the depth, substance, and appeal of his public utterances. Despite the many demands made upon him, he always had time for those who were in need or who turned to him for counsel; indeed, shrewd and capable as he was in administration, the pulpit and the care of the flock were always his chief concern and the sources of his deepest satisfaction. His work among university students in Hull was greatly appreciated, as was his service as a prison chaplain; in both these spheres, his care for individuals and his stimulating and challenging honesty made a salutary and enduring impact. The memory and influence of his warm and understanding pastoral ministry is cherished in countless hearts and homes. To see him and to hear him in charge of Church affairs was to recognize his statesmanlike qualities, qualities which were not confined to Church and circuit levels. 

For seven years he served as Secretary of the Hull District Synod, and in 1954 was appointed District Chairman. To both offices he brought great administrative skill, wise judgement, and a wealth of sympathetic understanding. 

While still at the height of his powers he died on 26 October 1959, in the sixtieth year of his age and the thirty-fifth of his ministry.


John was born on 31 August 1900 at South Hetton, Co. Durham, to parents John Ridley, a coal miner, and Kate Wright.

He married Emily Garmonsway (1902-1991) in the summer of 1928 at South Hetton, Co. Durham.

John died on 26 October 1959 at Kendal, Westmorland.


  • 1920 Tranent
  • 1922 Hartley
  • 1927 Glasgow II
  • 1928 Yarmouth
  • 1931 Gainsborough
  • 1936 Houghton le Spring
  • 1941 Manchester Gt W St
  • 1942 Chaplain H.M. Forces
  • 1945 Sleaford West
  • 1946 Hull, North
  • 1951 Bridlington St John
  • 1958 Kendal


Methodist Minutes 1960/186

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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