The Rev Dr. W. Hedley Clews, 69, an area minister for about 45 years who had been an associate at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Kensington since 1975, died of cancer Saturday at his Kensington home.

Dr. Dlews began his ministry at Brentwood United Methodist Church in 1934. He served as pastor of Mount Oak United Methoidist Church in Mitchellville, and Cherrydale United Methodist Church in Arlington before beginning an eight-year term at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Washington in 1962.

In a 1963 interview with The Post he said that he had a great love of phiolosophy and used phiolsophical studies to provide illustrations for sermons and to buttress his theology.

He said he was "a great worshipper at the throne of William James," and was "devoted" to the pre-Socratics, Heracitus and Parmendies. His chief interest was the study of reality as expounded by the schools of Locke-Berkeley-Hume and Descartes-Spinoza.

He once said about his own philosophy that "the God who holds the universe together with cosmic orderings is alos the author of social orderings and I have as much faith, not as a minister but as a person, in moral and social law as I have in mathematical and physical law."

Dr. Clews became minister of the University United Methodist Church in College in 1970, where he worked until joining St. Paul's. He also had spent seven years as a miniter in Baltimore before taking over a congregation in Catonsville for eight years in 1954.

He was born in Gorham, N.H., but spent much of his early life in the Washington area. His father was a minister who held rural pastorates in Virginia and on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Dr. Clews earned a bachelor's degree at George Washington University and received his theological training at Emory University in Georgia. He received an honorary doctorate from Western Maryland College in 1957.

He had served on the Advisory Board of the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington and was chairman of the Chaplain's Committee and a member of the board of Sibley a member of the board of Sibley Memorial Hospital at the time of his death. He also was treasurer and board member of the Berea in Korea Foundation, an organization promoting education in Korea.

Survivors include his wife, Julia A., of the home; a son, Army Staff Sgt. Hedley V. Clews, of Fort Myers; a brother, the Rev. C. Gordon Clews, of Friendly, Md., and one grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Memorial Fund of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Kensington or the Berea in Korea Foundation in Washington.