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Morley, William (1842–1926)

Members of the Methodist Church throughout Australia and New Zealand will learn with regret of the death of the Rev. William Morley DD, which took place at his residence, Mountain grove, East Kew, yesterday.

Dr Morley was born at Orston, Nottinghamshire, England, in 1842. He received his early training there and became a minister of the Methodist Church. He was aged only a little more than 20 years when he left England for New Zealand, where he arrived in 1863, and he immediately took up his pastoral duties. For a time he remained in the country districts doing pioneering work but his exceptional abilities soon led to the recognition of his value to the Church, and he successively filled more important pulpits at Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch. It was discovered that Dr Morley had a remarkable faculty for the management of the business affairs of the Church and he filled various highly responsible offices with great ability. While in New Zealand Dr. Morley was twice president of the Methodist Conference, and in 1892 he was president of the General Conference.

About 20 years ago Dr Morley was called to Australia from New Zealand by the General Conference to take up the duties of managing treasurer of the Supernumerary Ministers' Fund, an office which he held with distinction until 1923 when he retired from active work in the Church owing to failing health. During his long career, Dr Morley won the highest esteem and respect of all with whom he came into contact. In all the many offices he filled his highly trained mind and business ability enabled him to carry out his duties successfully, and to the benefit of the Church.

Dr Morley leaves a widow and a grown-up family.

BRISBANE, Monday. —Before the Methodist Conference adjourned today the president-general (the Rev J. G. Wheen) announced that he had received a telegram informing him that the Rev. W. Morley, formerly managing treasuer of the Supernumerary Fund, had died at his residence, in East Kew, Melbourne. While members of the conference knew that their "father" was near to his departure, they were hoping that he might be spared so that they might see him again after the conference, but God had decreed otherwise. "What a valiant warrior he has been," added Mr. Wheen, "How he loved the Church of God; how he fought with all the powers he possessed for the great movement in which we are all interested, a movement that seeks to bring branches of Christian churches into true unity; how beloved was he to this Church to which he belonged, and of which for so many years he was such an effective minister." The president of the Victorian Conference (the Rev. H. Overend), moved, "That the conference express to his widow and to members of his family its deep regret and sincere sympathy with them in their sorrow." After a number of delegates had spoken on the sterling qualities of Mr Morley, the motion was agreed to, and the conference decided to ask the Rev. W. Fitchett, of Melbourne, to represent it officially at the funeral.

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'Morley, William (1842–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2020.

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