Weatherill, George William (1902-1988)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

GEORGE WILLIAM WEATHERILL: born in Heworth-on-Tyne on 19th December 1902. The child of Yorkshire parents, he was always proud of his northern roots. Most of his childhood was spent in Coundon Gate in County Durham. After leaving school he trained as an accountant at the county court in Bishop Auckland, worked in the sales department of a nearby colliery and ran his own shop for a while. He became a local preacher in the Primitive Methodist Church under the influence of John Hamflett, whose daughter Dora he was later to marry. He entered the ministry in 1929 and trained at Hartley Victoria College.

George was by nature a scholar, although he received little formal education. Consequently he valued his time at college and took the opportunity to develop his mind, acquiring a love of learning, with a particular interest in history and philosophy, which lasted throughout his life. His marriage to Dora after leaving college began a deep partnership both in marriage and in ministry. They supported each other in every possible way, with Dora making a rich contribution to George’s pastoral work. They served together in London (Balham), Hull, Sunderland (South-East), Scarborough and Darlington (South), where George was Chaplain at R.A.F. Middleton St. George. Then followed three superintendencies in Walkden, where he was responsible for the building of a new church, and in Morecambe and Sale. 

George Weatherill was universally respected and liked. He was a thoughtful and effective preacher, always meticulously prepared and an excellent pastor and friend to his churches, taking a genuine, personal interest in people’s everyday lives, and making himself available whenever needed. The main theme of his ministry was the gospel of reconciliation and he was particularly gifted in healing rifts and divisions. His work among young people was another memorable feature. The youth festival he founded in Darlington lasted many years after he had left the circuit. His sense of humour and unfailingly courteous manner added to his affable nature. 

In his retirement in Darlington George discovered new talents, especially in woodwork and the making of dolls’ houses, for which he acquired quite a reputation. He continued to follow the fortunes of Sunderland Football Club, of which he was a lifelong supporter. Despite setbacks to his health, he preached into the last year of his life and led a study class at Bondgate, where he was fondly regarded. 

He died on 25th June 1988 in the eighty-sixth year of his age and the fifty-eighth year of his ministry.

Family

George was born on 19 December 1902 at Heworth, Co. Durham, to parents George Weatherill, a police constable (1911) and Lydia Dalkin.

He married Dora Hamflett (1908-1976) on 9 August 1933 in the Auckland Registration District, Co. Durham. Birth records identify one child.

  • Hazel (b1938)

George died in June 1988 at Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1929 Balham
  • 1933 Hull Fount
  • 1935 Sunderland SE
  • 1940 Scarborough St Sep
  • 1947 Darlington S
  • 1954 Walkden
  • 1958 Morecambe &c
  • 1964 Sale
  • 1969 Darlington (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1989/72

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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