Willcox, Frederick (1905-1977)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

FREDERICK WILLCOX: born in Tonyrefail, Rhondda Valley, on 25th June 1905 where he spent the early years of his life. Having left school at the age of twelve he went to a night school to continue his education. He worked for some years in a local colliery before being accepted for the ministry. Following training at Hartley Victoria College his first appointment was in the Hay-on-Wye Circuit. He then went to London where he served in the Upton Park and Leytonstone and Forest Gate Circuits before being entrusted with the task of pioneering a church at New Eltham. After a short period in the Chislehurst Circuit he was given charge of one of the mission stations in the London (Willesden Green) Circuit. During the early war years he also served as a fire warden in the Civil Defence, being a source of inspiration and comfort to many. He then served in the Malmesbury, Pontypool (Eastern Valley), Brinkworth, Cwm and Kingstone, Bristol (Bedminister), Biddulph and Bridgend Circuits. Retiring in 1973 he returned to Pontypool where he was working as an active supernumerary at the time of his death. 

In 1963 he sustained a deep bereavement by the death of his wife, Jennie. As the years passed he realized his need of a helpmeet and his marriage to Frances Price proved a source of great happiness. He will be remembered as the author of a trilogy, ‘The Lord’s Prayer for Today’, ‘The Beatitudes for Today’ and ‘A new look at the Sermon on the Mount’. These were transcribed into Braille. As a local preachers’ tutor for fourteen years he shared in the training of over 200 preachers, some of whom entered the ordained ministry.

One could hardly ever find him without a book, his special interest being biographies. His pulpit ministry conveyed the sense of thorough preparation and those who shared in the services were greatly blessed. A talented musician, he composed a tune ‘Jubilee’ to be sung to Hymn 829. It was poignant and deeply moving, and many heard it for the first time at his funeral service. In spite of his many gifts he remained humble, never seeking the limelight and finding his greatest joy in the pastoral ministry. In every circuit in which he travelled there will be those who will recall with gratitude the practical help and spiritual guidance he gave. 

He died on 30th June 1977 in the seventy-third year of his life and the forty-fifth year of his ministry.

Family

Frederick was born on 25 June 1905 at Tonyrefail, Glamorgan, to parents Robert George Willcox, a colliery shunter underground (1911), and Agnes Jane Gainey.

He married Jennie Eliza  Parr (1904-1963) in the spring of 1937 in the East Ham Registration District, Essex.

He married Frances Evelyn Price (1905-1983) in the summer of 1966 in the Hereford Registration District, Herefordshire.

Frederick died on 30 June 1977 at Pontypool, Gwent.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1932 Hay
  • 1933 London Upton
  • 1934 Leytonstone
  • 1935 President’s List
  • 1936 Chislehurst
  • 1938 London Will Gr
  • 1943 Malmesbury
  • 1949 Pontypool E Valley
  • 1954 Brinkworth
  • 1959 Cwm &c
  • 1964 Bristol Bedm
  • 1966 Biddulph
  • 1970 Bridgend
  • 1973 Pontypool (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1978/98

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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