MICKLETHWAITE, William Sykes 1873 - 1962

Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1962, page 201

Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in 1873. He entered the United Methodist Ministry and was trained at Victoria Park College, Manchester.

In 1895 he sailed for Sierra Leone. He did pioneer work in the Mende country, and stayed for twenty-three months instead of the customary eighteen.

During this period he contracted black water fever, and it was some time before he was permitted to return to West Africa.

In 1920, however, he went back again, and until 1926 he was superintendent and had pastoral charge of churches in Freetown. His duties involved heavy responsibility, and the travelling made great demands upon his strength. This tour in a difficult climate further impaired his health.

Throughout his life he retained a lively interest in the affairs of West Africa, and he was always deeply committed to the missionary enterprise of the Church.

In between his two periods overseas he travelled in the following home circuits : Burnley, Hebden Bridge. New Mills, Manchester, Chorley, Ramsbottom and Burslem, and after returning from Sierra Leone in 1926 he served in Codnor, Jersey and the Isle of Wight.

The qualities of courage, determination, loyalty and efficiency which characterized his missionary service were also evident in his ministry at home. He had a graciousness and spirit of humility which were impressive.

In 1937 he superannuated, but he continued to preach in a number of circuits until he was well into his eighties.

During his last years he found peace and security in the home of his daughter in West Bridgford, Nottingham.

He died on 5 January 1962, in the eighty-ninth year of his age and the sixty-seventh year of his ministry.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1962

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