Sheen, James Alfred (1887-1960)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES ALFRED SHEEN: born at Norwich in 1887. After being trained at Hartley College for the Primitive Methodist Ministry, he served his probation at Berwick-on-Tweed. Two short terms at Dent and Wishaw were followed by outstanding ministries at Selby, Skipton, Leeds, Bridlington, Heckmondwike, Dewsbury, and Cross Hills, where his active ministry closed. 

Throughout his life he was a lover of books, and his study was a precious place to him, for it held the priceless treasures of theology, literature, and philosophy from which he enriched the whole of his ministry. He was a man who had disciplined himself; time was never wasted, with the result that in his preaching and visiting he had always a living word to offer to his people. He could make firm judgements, and stand and fight for them, but he was able to give comfort and consolation both wisely and lovingly. He brought people into the Kingdom not so much by the eloquence or passion of his preaching, but by its depth. 

He was loyal, courteous, a gentleman of God, who, seeking no place for himself, earned one in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. After his retirement he spent himself in preaching, in hospital chaplaincy, and in the interests of the physically handicapped. The people of Keighley have a memory of him redolent with loving service rendered in the name of his Master. 

He died on 5 February 1960, in the seventy-third year of his age and forty-seventh of his ministry.


James was born on 8 December 1887 at Norwich, Norfolk, to parents James Thomas Sheen, a cabinet maker, and Elizabeth Martha Barrett.

He married Edith Hall (1887-1969) in the summer of 1917 in the Selby Registration District, Yorkshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Catherine (1924-1987)   
  • Barbara E (b1928)    

James died on 5 February 1960 at Utley, Keighley, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1913 Berwick
  • 1917 Dent
  • 1918 Wishaw II
  • 1920 Selby
  • 1927 Skipton
  • 1930 Leeds VIII
  • 1935 Bridllington
  • 1940 Heckmondwike
  • 1945 Dewsbury Central
  • 1950 Cross Hills &c
  • 1954 Keighley (S)


Methodist Minutes 1960/193

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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