Sellars, Ernest Paulden (1891-1973)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ERNEST PAULDEN SELLARS: born at Glossop, Derbyshire, on 14th December 1891, of staunch Primitive Methodist stock. Methodist family life and the chapels at Shrewsbury Street, Glossop and Henshaw Street, Oldham (to which he moved on the death of his parents when he was nine) were the formative influences on his early life and thought. Service with the Royal Artillery in India during the first World War delayed his entry into the ministry, but he was appointed to chaplaincy work, and contact with the life of the church overseas aroused a life-long interest in missionary endeavour. 

He was accepted for the ministry by the Primitive Methodist Conference in 1919 and trained at Hartley College where he became a great admirer of Dr. A.S. Peake. He served in the Quarry Bank, Dawley, Kendal, Saffron Walden, Swindon, Accrington, King’s Lynn, Doncaster (Spring Gardens), Wigan (Station Road), Burton-on-Trent, Ebbw Vale, Castleford (Powell St.), Clay Cross, Oldham (West) and Clayton West circuits, and is still remembered with affection by both people and colleagues who knew him. 

The convictions and principles which characterised both his preaching and his work were not easily reached or lightly held. The search for truth was an abiding passion, and he set great value on the new insights brought by studies in theology, philosophy and the language of the Bible. Conclusions thus firmly based were staunchly maintained in discussion and action, with complete disregard for personal comfort, popularity or success. 

In 1957 he retired to Oldham where he lived alone, but continued to take an active part in the life of the church, preaching regularly, as his custom was, without notes but from a well-stocked and ordered mind, He became more and more absorbed in his studies, and at the time of his death was pursuing an external B.D. course. 

He died suddenly on 29th January, 1973 in the eighty-second year of his age and the fifty-fourth of his ministry.


Ernest was born on 14 December 1891 at Glossop, Derbyshire, to parents Joseph Sellars, a cotton weaver (1901), and Sarah Paulden. He was baptised on 31 January 1892 at Shrewsbury St. PM Chapel, Glossop by John Farr.

The 1911 census return records Ernest as a cotton piecer spinning mules in Oldham, Lancashire.

He married Doris Baker (1899-1942) in the summer of 1926 in the Fylde Registration District, Lancashire.

Ernest died on 29 January 1973 at Oldham, Lancashire.


  • 1919 Supply
  • 1920 Wickham Brook
  • 1921 Hartley
  • 1823 Quarry Bank
  • 1924 Dalton
  • 1926 Kendal
  • 1929 Saffron Walden
  • 1930 Swindon II
  • 1934 Accrington
  • 1937 Kings Lynn
  • 1939 Doncaster Spring G
  • 1942 Wigan Station
  • 1945 Burton on Trent
  • 1947 Ebbw Vale
  • 1949 Castleford Pow
  • 1950 Clay Cross
  • 1954 Clayton West
  • 1957 Oldham (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1973/154

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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