Wacey, Charles (1889-1977)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

CHARLES WACEY: born in Bircham, Norfolk, on 14th April 1889. Born into a working-class home, he worked on the land before hearing the call to the ministry. After a pre-collegiate year in London, he entered Hartley College in 1914. Leaving college, he completed his probation in the Lowestoft Circuit, and then travelled in the Diss, St. Day, Donington and Spalding, Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Burton Road), Normanton, Cromer and Sheringham, Leek (Mount), and Earlstown Circuits, retiring in 1955 to Gosberton in the Spalding Circuit.

He had an alert and well-cultured mind, and a keen interest in all aspects of life, from cricket and football to literature and politics. This, with the warm heart of a true pastor-evangelist, made it possible for him to make ready contact with both young and old, to whom he was able to communicate his own very real experience of the grace of Christ. He brought a countryman’s gifts to the work of the ministry. A down-to-earth realism and a deep understanding of human nature enabled him to cultivate the souls of his people with the same diligence that he brought to the cultivation of his garden. 

He had a particular care for young people, anxious to provide for them in the Church an environment in which to develop a real Christian experience. His life was not without its shadows. At one stage serious illness threatened to curtail his ministry: he was twice bereaved of a loved partner and Arthur, his only son, died in early manhood. Such experiences, however, only served to draw him nearer to God, as he proved the truth of the words he requested to be sung at his funeral service, ‘Thou’lt find him in the evil days, Thy all-sufficient strength and guide’. 

In retirement he continued to serve the local churches by preaching as long as his strength permitted. Out of the pulpit, he was an appreciative sharer in worship, helping to draw the best from the preacher for the enrichment of all. To a succession of ministers in Gosberton and Spalding he was a true father in God, a wise counsellor and encourager. After some weeks of increasing feebleness he died on 17th April 1977 in the eighty-ninth year of his age and the sixty-first year of his ministry.


Charles was born on 14 April 1889 at Bircham, Norfolk, to parents John Matthew Wacey, who worked the land, and Mary Ann Barnard.

He married Eleanor Mary Potts (1891-1952) in the spring of 1920 in the Bethnal Green Registration District, London. The 1939 register identifies one child.

  • Arthur Charles (1921-1940) – a chemists apprentice (1939)

He married Edna Margaret Reeve (1901-1957) in the summer of 1953 in the Spalding Registration District, Lincolnshire.

He married Harriet Sanford (1908-1998) in early 1958 in the Spalding Registration District, Lincolnshire.

Charles died on 17 April 1977 at Gosberton, Lincolnshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1916 Lowestoft
  • 1920 Diss
  • 1924 St Day
  • 1929 Donington
  • 1936 Ashby de la Zouch
  • 1941 Normanton
  • 1946 Cromer &c
  • 1949 Leek, Mount
  • 1953 Earlstown
  • 1955 Spalding (S)


Methodist Minutes 1977/84

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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