Woodfield, James Edwin (1882-1958)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES EDWIN WOODFIELD: born at Neston, Cheshire, in 1882. He was accepted for the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church at the Conference of 1907. After training at Hartley College, he served his Church at Burslem, Barnoldswick, Selsden, Manchester, Southport, Leicester, Grimsby, and Church Gresley, retiring from the active ministry in 1947. Until six months before his death, he continued his ministry as an active supernumerary in Leicester—not because he needed to, but because he wanted to. The years of his retirement were overshadowed by the illness of his wife, for whom he cared with great devotion and whom he survived by only a few weeks. 

Both as pastor and preacher he was much loved of his people. They found in him a loyal friend, a wise counsellor, and a true guide of the spiritual life. Among his brethren he was held in genuine affection. The secret of his attraction was a rare humility, both of mind and spirit, that endeared him to all and that irresistibly reminded them of Another. Throughout his ministry he was always ‘Content to fill a little place’ if God might be glorified. 

He died on 25th January 1958, in the seventy-sixth year of his age and the fifty-first of his  ministry.


James was born on 26 July 1882 at Neston, Cheshire, to parents Frederick Woodfield, a wheelwright (1891), and Mary Jane Pitt Pritchard.

Before entering the ministry James worked as a wheelwright (1901).

He married Minnie Gertrude Platt (1884-1957) in the summer of 1911 in the Wirral Registration District, Cheshire. They had one child.

  • Margaret Ruth (b1913) – married Edmund Andrew Ralphs, a shoe machinery manufacturer, in 1938

James died on 25 January 1958 at Leicester, Leicestershire.


  • Hartley
  • 1907 Burslem
  • 1911 Barnoldswick
  • 1915 Silsden
  • 1918 Manchester III
  • 1923 Manchester II
  • 1930 Southport I
  • 1933 Southport N
  • 1935 Leicester Hinckley
  • 1939 Grimsby Flott
  • 1943 Church Gresley
  • 1947 Leicester (Sup)


Methodist  Minutes 1958/187

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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