Robertshaw, Arnold (1897-1967)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ARNOLD ROBERTSHAW: born at Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire, in 1897, of devout Methodist parents who gave two sons to the ministry. His father was Sunday school superintendent for more than fifty years. At the age of eighteen he volunteered for active service and while in the Army studied for the ministry. Trained at Hartley College, he began his ministry in 1921 and served in the following circuits: Guildford, Shipley, Barnsley, Norwich, Rotherham, Barrow-in-Furness, Paisley Mission, Paisley (St James Street), Coatbridge, Willington, and Helston. Sixteen years of his ministry were given to Scotland where he served on the Scottish Committee for Religious Broadcasting, and was a distinguished Synod Secretary. 

Thoroughness was expressed in all he undertook. He had a flair for administration for which many circuits were grateful, but that was a part only of his strength and versatility. His warm-hearted humble spirit won him many friends and made him a true pastor. He loved people and gave them his best in the pulpit and in pastoral devotion. His beautifully phrased prayers in public worship lifted his congregation into a strengthening realization of God’s presence, and spoke of his secret life hid with Christ in God.

He was a splendid colleague, loyal and utterly reliable. He loved the hours spent in his study, read well, and prepared meticulously. There are those whose call to the ministry came through the word so faithfully proclaimed by him. 

In 1963 he retired and settled in the Tiverton Circuit. Broken in health, he could no longer preach, but delighted in worship. In these last years he exercised a gracious ministry of encouragement to his fellow ministers and won the affection of the people. He died on 13 August 1967, in the seventieth year of his age and the forty-sixth of his ministry.

Family

Arnold was born on 23 August 1897 at Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire, to parents William, an insurance agent (1901), and Charlotte. His older brother, John Henry, was also a PM minister.

He married Ida Williamson (b1898) in the summer of 1925 at Halifax, Yorkshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Enid (1927-1997) – a teacher (1954); married John Edward Stansfield, a Methodist minister, in 1959   
  • Doreen Ida (b1932) – a nurse (1953)      

Arnold died on 13 August 1967 at Collompton, Devon.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1821 Guildford
  • 1925 Shipley
  • 1927 Barnsley II
  • 1931 Norwich II
  • 1935 Rotherham
  • 1940 Barrow in Furness
  • 1942 Paisley Mission
  • 1946 Paisley St James
  • 1952 Coatbridge &C
  • 1958 Willington
  • 1960 Helston
  • 1963 Tiverton (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1868/175

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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