Home | Search | Help
Version: 1.2

Go to WHS website

Weatherhead, Dr Leslie Dixon CBE
1893-1976; e.m. 1915

He was born on 14 October 1893 at Harlesden, London into a Methodist family. He was educated at Richmond College and obtained an MA from Manchester University in 1926. During World War I he became a chaplain to the Devonshire Regiment and from 1919 to 1922 served the English Methodist Church in Madras. After an outstanding ministry at Brunswick Chapel, Leeds (1925-36) he was tipped to be appointed to Wesley\'s Chapel, London, but this met with the disapproval of Dr. J. Scott Lidgett. Instead, he became minister of the City Temple, London, where he drew great crowds. When the building was destroyed by enemy action, he held the congregation together in the Anglican Church of St Sepulchre's until the new City Temple was built.

As a preacher he was known throughout the world, owing much to his impressive appearance and beautiful voice. He had a clarity of thought and expression which enabled him to convey truth in a way ordinary folk could understand. In addition to his London PhD, he received honorary doctorates from Edinburgh and two American universities, California and Puget Sound.

He was a prolific writer. His Psychology, Religion and Healing (1951), based on his doctoral thesis, reflected his pioneer work in this field and he established clinics for the treatment of nervous disorders, developing helpful partnerships with distinguished medical men. He became President of the Institute of Religion and Medicine in 1966. He gave the Peake Memorial Lecture of 1962, 'Salute to a Sufferer'. In The Christian Agnostic (1965) he expounded aspects of the liberal theology which informed his preaching. He was made a freeman of the City of London and was President of the Conference in 1955. In 1959 he became the first Methodist minister to be made a CBE . The Transforming Friendship (of Christ) - the title of one of his books (1928) - was at the heart of his ministry. He died at Bexhill on 3 January 1976.


  • Methodist Recorder, 7 July 1955; 8 & 15 Jan. 1976; 21 October 2016
  • Conference Handbook, 1955
  • Christopher Maitland, Dr. Leslie Weatherhead of the City Temple (1960)
  • Kingsley Weatherhead, Leslie Weatherhead (1975)
  • Sunday Times, 4 Jan 1976; Times, 5 January 1976
  • Lynne Price, Faithful Uncertainty (1996)
  • M. Camroux in Epworth Review, January 1999 pp.74-79
  • John C. Travell, Doctor of Souls: Leslie D. Weatherhead 1893-1976 (1999)
  • Lynne Diane Price, '"Reverend Science and intelligent faith": Leslie Weatherhead's approach to healing', in Proceedings of the conference 'Mind and Body: the Church and health' (London, 2000)
  • Colin Morris, Snapshots (2007), pp.81-83
  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: KGG
Category: Person

Comment on this entry