Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
ALBERT CHARLES WILLIMAN: born on 26th January, 1885 at North Elmham, Norfolk. Prior to his acceptance for the Primitive Methodist ministry and entering Hartley College in 1909 he had served as a Hired Local Preacher in the Driffield Circuit. There his evangelical preaching filled the little village chapels and stirred up the farm labourers of his congregations. After college training he travelled in the following circuits: Isle of Wight (Cowes), Oakham, Melton Mowbray, Hornsea, Derby 1st, Scarborough (St. Sepulchre St), Preston (Saul St), Birmingham (Quinton), and Withernsea. The number of circuits in which he served for extended periods is evidence of the quality of his ministry and of the affection in which he was held.
He was an outstanding preacher in the best evangelical tradition, seeking always to bring his hearers to the point of decision. His sermons were always colourful, freely illustrated life and literature. Being a painter himself he had the artist’s eye for detail, and would often grip the attention of his congregation at the start of a sermon by means of a graphic description of some scene or event related to his text. His message was always personal yet never lacking in social reference and concern. He preached not only as an evangelist but also with a pastor’s concern for his people, bringing to his sermons his powers of heart and mind and spiritual perception. Consequently they met the deepest needs of his hearers and were remembered.
He took a great interest in Local Preachers and brought many young men on to the plan and some into the ministry. As a pastor he had great gifts of sympathy and understanding. He loved people and gave himself to them without reserve, especially in times of trouble. His lack of pomposity, his straightforwardness, and his sense of humour gave him an immediate contact with men and enabled him to render effective service as an Army Chaplain. His ministry was enriched by many interests, his wide reading, his love of sport and his painting in water colours.
Retiring in 1952 he continued to preach with great acceptance and also became Free Church Chaplain to the Preston Royal Infirmary where he was welcomed in every ward by patients and staff alike. He remained to the end a true pastor and friend, a man of courage and faith, giving himself to others for Christ’s sake. After only a few days’ illness he died in hospital on 18th April, 1972, in the eight-eighth year of his age and the sixtieth year of his ministry.
Albert was born on 26 January 1885 at New Elmham, Norwich, Norfolk, to parents Albert Bernard Williman, a railway signalman (1891), and Susan.
He married Annie Rudd (1885-1962) in the summer of 1916 at Driffield, Yorkshire. Birth records identify two children.
- Constance (1917-1984) – a secretary (1939); married Sydney Rawlinson in 1948
- Dorothy (b1920) – Vivian J Ratcliffe in 1948
Albert died on 18 April 1972 at Preston, Lancashire.
- 1912 Newport &c, Isle of Wight
- 1916 Oakham
- 1918 Chaplain H.M. Forces
- 1919 Melton Mowbray
- 1920 Hornsea
- 1926 Derby I
- 1930 Scarborough I
- 1935 Preston
- 1939 Birmingham Quin
- 1946 Patrington
- 1950 Withernsea
- 1952 Preston (Sup)
Methodist Minutes 1972/205
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers