Sollitt, James Alfred(1901-1995)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES ALFRED SOLLITT: born in London on 8th July 1901. He was brought up in Loftus, Yorkshire, from the age of two years. At the age of fourteen he heard the call to the mission field and at eighteen years became a fully accredited local preacher in the Primitive Methodist Church.

 Jim served as a lay pastor in the Belper and Brightlingsea circuits and as a pre-collegiate probationer in the Enfield circuit. He trained at Hartley Victoria and Kingsmead Colleges before being sent to Eastern Nigeria in 1930, where he served for nineteen years. Beginning with five churches he pioneered a further forty-five simply by going into the villages and telling the story of the birth of Jesus in his own way.

Jim married Sally Wilcoxson from Manchester and she joined him in Nigeria. They had no children. On their return he served in the Manchester (Prestwich and Broughton), Holmfirth, and Brighouse circuits before retiring to Scarborough on health grounds in 1959. Following the death of his first wife Jim married Evelyn McGrady and became stepfather to Kathryn, Nigel, Angela and Peter and stepgrandad to Mandy, Robert, Claire and Jonathan. He loved children. 

In addition he loved cricket, Yorkshire, Primitive Methodism, preaching and pastoral visiting. He was a faithful minister with a keen sense of humour, a good story teller and full of mischievous fun. His last years were marked by increasing disability and forgetfulness. At one time a member of the MHA Executive, he received good day care for a time at Priceholme, Scarborough. Nursed at home by his devoted wife he finally became resident in Ackworth House, Filey where he died peacefully on Tuesday, 26th September 1995 in the ninety-fifth year of his age and the sixty-ninth year of his ministry.


James was born on 8 July 1901 at Dalston, Hackney, London, to parents William, a painter (1911), and Harriet.

He married Sarah Wilcockson (1900-1975) in late 1931 in the Oldham Registration District, Lancashire.

He married Evelyn Frances McGrady, nee Whitcher (1926-1997) in the spring of 1880 at Scarborough, Yorkshire.

James died in the summer of 1995 at Filey, Yorkshire.


  • 1925 Enfield
  • 1927 Hartley
  • 1929 Birmingham IV
  • 1930 E Nigeria
  • 1949 Manchester Prestwich
  • 1951 Holmfirth
  • 1956 Brighouse
  • 1959 Scarborough (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1996/57

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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