Rolley, James Gregory (1901-1975)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES GREGORY ROLLEY: born in Nottingham on 3rd June 1901. He offered for the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church in 1921 and, after two pre-collegiate years in the Cambridge Circuit, trained at Hartley College, where he developed a capacity for reading with discrimination, that he never lost. He travelled in the following circuits: Bottesford, York I, Bristol IV, Bristol (Kingswood), North Shields (Whitley Bay), Swindon (Bath Road), Warrington, Plymouth (East) and Camelford and Wadebridge. 

The stresses of his seven years in Plymouth, where he was deeply involved in ministering to the victims of the blitz and then in the work of reconstruction, overtaxed his health and, after only four years in his next circuit, he was compelled to retire from the active ministry in 1953. There followed a time of recuperation and work as an active supernumerary before he moved to Penzance, where he met and married his wife, Doris. Subsequently, they moved to Frilford, near Oxford. 

He still preached widely, always happy to go to the small churches around the city. He was a man of great personal charm, a ready wit and a roguish sense of humour. His integrity won him the respect which made differences possible without distrust. During a long period in hospital major facial surgery was necessary and it was distressing to see one whose precision in speech and appearance had been so characteristic having to accept limitations to both. But the measure of his faith was never more fully shown. His cheerful acceptance of what to many would have been indignity won from medical staff and friends admiration and affection. He resumed preaching and remained to the end a man of God through whose faith all things were seen to be possible. 

He died peacefully in hospital on 28th December 1975 in the seventy-fifth year of his age and the forty-eighth year of his ministry. 


James was born on 3 June 1901 at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, to parents James, a railway engine driver (1911), and Rachel Elizabeth Pattrick.

He married Doris M. Peacock in the summer of 1859 at Leeds, Yorkshire.

James died on 28 December 1975 at Oxford, Oxfordshire.


  • 1921 Cambridge
  • 1923 Hartley
  • 1925 Bottesford
  • 1927 York I
  • 1931 Bristol IV
  •           Bristol Kingswood
  • 1935 Whitley Bay
  • 1937 Swindon Bath
  • 1941 Warrington
  • 1942 Plymouth E
  • 1949 Camelford &c
  • 1953 President’s List
  • 1954 Penzance (S)


Methodist Minutes 1976/88

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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