Watson, Arthur (1882-1949)

Transcription of Obituary in Minutes of Methodist Conference

Born at East Dereham, Norfolk, in 1882. He received his theological training at Hartley College, and entered the Ministry in 1907. With the exception of a term in the Swindon circuit, the early years of his ministry were spent in the South Wales District.

There followed a longer period among the mining communities of County Durham and in the large industrial centres of Jarrow, Sunderland, and Gateshead-on-Tyne. In all his circuits the influence of his life and the fragrance of his memory abide.

His modesty and unobtrusiveness were most marked ; he courted the shade, and his real worth might well have been overlooked.

His excellent business aptitudes found recognition when he was appointed General Committee Delegate for his District in 1921, a distinction in itself, but an onerous and exacting office in the years prior to Methodist Union.

In matters of administration he was patient, wise, resourceful, and extended terms of service in large and important circuits are a measure of the affection and confidence in which he was held.

For the pulpit he prepared both himself and his themes with meticulous care. Throughout his ministry he was a diligent student, keenly interested in the movement of modern thought. His kindly, affectionate nature, warm sympathy, and unaffected goodness made him a welcome visitor to the homes of the people, and during the war years he was a veritable ‘ son of consolation .

As a colleague he was transparent, unselfish, and confiding. He was a delightful companion : his quiet humour, simple, sincere heart, and wide human interests made fellowship with him at once a joy and benediction. The close of his earthly ministry came with startling suddenness.

On 31st December 1949 he passed to that Presence where all is light and where the mysteries of time are at last made clear. ‘ By faith he was translated that he should not see death.’ He was in the sixty-eighth year of his life and the forty-third of his ministry.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1950


Arthur was born on 22 March 1882 at East Dereham, Norfolk, to parents Herbert, a colliery horse-keeper (1901) and Lydia. He was baptised on 24 October 1883 at East Dereham.

Arthur worked as a butcher before entering the ministry.

He married Edith Heron (1884-1956) in the summer of 1911 in the Durham Registration district. Birth records identify one child.

  • Amy (1913-1975) – an assistant schoolmistress (1939); married Ralph Arthur Chrisp in 1950

Arthur died on 31 December 1949 at Middleton in Teesdale, Co Durham.


  • Hartley
  • 1907 Aberdare
  • 1909 Cardiff II
  • 1911 Swindon II
  • 1914 Abertillery
  • 1918 Mountain Ash
  • 1921 Jarrow
  • 1926 Stanley
  • 1931 Coxhoe
  • 1935 Sunderland N
  • 1940 Gateshead S
  • 1945 Teesdale


Methodist Minutes 1950/136

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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