Christopher was born in 1836 at Thirsk, Yorkshire to parents John Stockdale and Ann Ward. He was baptised on 14 September 1836 at Thirsk. John was a cordwainer.
Although his parents were Primitive Methodists, Christopher was brought up by his Wesleyan grand-parents. He attended the Wesleyan Sunday school and was a member of the chapel choir.
Christopher was converted aged 17 and soon became a local preacher. He was appointed as a hired local preacher in his own circuit in 1858.
Christopher’s obituary records that he was a man of indomitable energy and very strong will. He had a passion for his ministerial work. The saving of souls was not a mere sentiment with him, it was a passionate longing.
He lived a very prayerful life, and was in every sense a good man, and a very successful minister. His sermons were above average and always delivered by a man who felt that he had a message from God to deliver to dying men. He was a successful soul winner, hundreds having been brought to God through his instrumentality. In him the sick and poor had a faithful pastor and tender friend.
Christopher married Mary Hannah Pickering (1838-1865) on 22 February 1864 at Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire.
Christopher married Elizabeth Annie Tomlinson (1840-1910) in late 1867 at Chorlton, Lancashire. Census returns identify six children.
- Annie Maria (1868-1949) – a schoolteacher
- Jane Elizabeth (1870-1871)
- Mary Hannah (1872-1924)
- Minnie (1874-1916) – a schoolteacher; married Charles Dymott
- Christopher Henry (1876-1955) – an Anglican clergyman
- Lavinia Maude (1877-1969) – married John Miles Johnson, a PM Minister
Christopher died on 21 August 1898 at Southampton, Hampshire.
- 1859 Dewsbury
- 1860 Malton
- 1862 Pateley Bridge
- 1864 Halifax
- 1866 Burnley
- 1868 Silsden
- 1869 Horbury
- 1871 Ripon
- 1873 York
- 1875 Knaresborough
- 1878 Barnsley
- 1881 St Ives
- 1882 Bristol lll
- 1885 Brynmawr
- 1887 Kingswood
- 1889 Bristol lV
- 1890 York l
- 1893 Swindon l
- 1896 Southampton ll
- 1898 Southampton (S)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1867/42 (Mary); 1888 (portrait); 1899/227; 1911/242 (Elizabeth Annie)
PM Minutes 1899/21
W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers