Obituaries 2008

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The following obituary notices appeared in ‘Pilgrim’ September 2008 —

John Mountford died on 19th May 2008, aged 88 years. Already an ordained Minister he was appointed by MMS in 1947 to serve in the Church of South India in the Trichirappalli- Thanjavur Diocese in several former Methodist pastorates, including Trichy, the centre of the diocese where his wife Kathy served on the staff of the CSI Girls' High School, Woriur; in Dharapuram, centre of the former mass movement and in Valparai among planters and workers on the tea estates. John spoke Tamil fluently and was thrilled to be working in the newly-formed CSI. He returned to the UK in 1969 to home ministry. He was a talented musician, a gifted preacher, a sound administrator and a dedicated pastor. He was a faithful servant of God who spent his life in the service of others.

Marjorie Chapman died 11th March 2008 aged 80 years. She was appointed by MMS and served in India from 1958-1975 in Khammam and Karimnagar hospitals in Dornakal and Karimnagar Diocese of CSI. As nursing superintendent in Karimnagar, she oversaw the important work of the hospital in training Indian nurses and in public health, as well as in the care of patients. On return to the UK she trained and practised as a health visitor. Following retirement she spent a short period of time in the Gambia for furlough relief. She led a full and active life, both in Church and community.

Dr. Muriel Beard died 10th April 2008 aged 85 years. She was appointed by MMS to the Madras Diocese of CSI where she served from 1952-72 (with a break from 1959-64 for family reasons). She served in the rural hospital at Nagari, often as the only doctor there. She was a fully dedicated person, quiet, kind and thoughtful. She was very much loved and ‘a friend to everybody'. She encouraged the hospitals outreach to the surrounding villages and gave training in rural medical care to students who came from CMC Vellore. After returning to the UK. she worked in public health until retirement, continuing her concern for world needs.

The Ven. Jon A Cable died 6th April 2005 in Australia, aged 95 years. A long serving missionary of SPG he was appointed in 1937 and served at Itki and St. Michael's School for the Blind, Ranchi, in the diocese of Chota Nagpur until 1976.

Dr. Bryan Thompson died June 2nd 2008 in Scotland. He and his wife, Dr. Helen (who died in February 2008), were CMS partners and served in India for 35 years, returning to the UK in 1991. Dr. Thompson was former medical superintendent of St. Luke's Hospital, Hiranpur, Pakur. He and Dr. Helen were excellent leaders and members of the eastern Regional Board of Health Services as well as the Synodical Board of Health Services, Church of North India.


The following obituary notices appeared in ‘Pilgrim’ April 2008 —

Muriel Sleigh died on 30th July 2007, aged 69 years. Muriel was born in 1938 in Hull and became a member of Memorial Congregational Church. She trained as a teacher but soon began to feel a strong call to missionary service. The L.M.S appointed her to South India, where she arrived in 1966. Sent to Bellary, she worked among women and children, becoming manager of two boys' boarding homes in the village area and starting crèches, but she was also involved in the wider work of church including starting new congregations. In 1985 she resigned on marrying Robin Sleigh and moving to Kowthalum but continued her service in church. On Robin's retirement in 1992 they moved to Exeter. Muriel continued to be active in Christian services, and was Secretary of Heaviteetree URC until shortly before her death.

Dr. Rodney Todman died 18th May 2007 aged 88 years. The son of LMS missionaries, he was horn in Jammalamadugu. South India. He trained at Edinburgh University and was appointed as a medical missionary to South India by LMS in 1946. In 1947 he married Dorothy Milne also serving there with LMS. He served in the hospital at Chikballapur 1946-48 and 1951-53, from 1948-50 and 1953-54 at Kavutalam in Mysore Diocese where a new. hospital had been opened in 1948 to care for people over a wide rural area. In 1955 due to Dorothy's illness, they had to return to England, but in 1957 with great devotion and courage they returned to serve in Jammalamadugu until 1959.
Rodney Claud Frederick Todman (21.02.1919 to 18.05.2007) He was born in South India of Missionary Parents. He graduated from Edinburgh University, with a medical degree and was accepted by the LMS in November 1945 for service in India. Ile sailed in February 1946. In 1947 he married Dorothy Milne, also a recently arrived missionary. They had three children. Between 1946 and 1959 he worked in various hospitals in South India. Because Dorothy had polio very severely in 1955 they were ultimately unable to carry on working in India and the whole family returned to England in 1959, Here he worked firstly in hospital, followed by time with the Birmingham school health authority and finished his working life as a GP.

Barbara Paile died 2nd September 2007 aged 94 years. She served through SPG in the Diocese of Chota Nagpur at St. Denny's Hospital in Ranchi from 1960-1970.

Violet Mary Hayes died 9th September 2007 aged 97 years. She was appointed as an SPG missionary in 1938 and worked in the Diocese of Lahore at St. Stephen’s Hospital, Delhi, from 1938-42 and from 1943-46 at St. Michael’s School. In 1947 she moved hack to St. Stephen’s as hospital secretary until her return to England in 1960. In 1961 she took up the position as Home staff as an assistant in the Medical Missions department and subsequently from 1968 as Deputy Grants Secretary until her retirement in 1973.

May Collins died on 10 September 2007, aged 95 years. She trained as a teacher and after missionary training was appointed by the LMS in 1935 to Tamil area of South India as an educational missionary, serving as correspondent of schools and manager of Boarding Homes for children.. In 1941 she married Donald also an educational missionary and then supported him in his work and after his ordination in CSI in 1954, in his ministry of caring for village churches and in lay training. May was loved and respected by the people and missionary colleagues. After returning from India in 1973 and a short ministry in Devon they retired in Ashford, Kent. They both remained active in Christian work, with May giving loving hospitality and encouragement to many.

James E. Balraj died on 24th September 2007 aged 81 years. He was the first Executive Director of the CSI council for technical and vocational training (now CSI Board of Diaconal Ministry). After a career in the commercial sector, he served as Principal of Katpadi Industrial Institute (American Arcot Mission) from 1968-76. Then he was invited by CSI Synod to head the technical education and rural development ministry of CSI. He served as Director of CSI CTVT from 1976 until his retirement in 1991. He served with great determination and was instrumental in executing development projects and strengthening the technical and vocational institutes of CSI. He also served on the boards of wider development organisations.

Rev Canon John Marshall William Adan, former missionary of the Cambridge mission to Delhi, died 30th September 2007 aged 98 years. He served through SPG at St.Stephen’s College, Delhi, from 1936-39. He was Home Secretary of the missionary council of the church assembly from 1946-55.

Rev. Alan Stephens died on 12 October 2007 age 79 years. He served the Methodist Church in Bengal from 1954 to 1969. Joan joined him in 1956 when they were married in Calcutta. They lived first in Deuli, then Sarenga working mostly among Santal people. Later they were transferred to pioneering ecumenical ministry in the new industrial ‘steel’ town of Durgapur, a ministry among people from all over India and with a large English-speaking congregation. Joan became head of an English medium school founded by the Steel Company; and long after her death her name was honoured on the foundation stone of a new building in that school; and Alan, who had kept close touch with the Church there after his return to ministry in the UK. was deeply grateful to be recognized as a Presbyter of the Church of North India not long before he died.

Bishop Sam Ponnaiah, the first Bishop of Vellore Diocese, was given in CSI Life December 2007 but no dates were given. Perhaps you could find out the date of his death and then we could put in an obituary note for him.

Revd Robert William Grayson died 6 December 2007 aged 83 years. He was CMS missionary at Barharwa (1953-55); priest-in-charge of Christ Church, Bhagalpur and Chaplain to the Bishop of Bhagalpur (1955-57) and thereafter served in parish ministry in England.

The Very Revd Kenneth Neal Jennings died 14 December 2007 aged 77 years. He was lecturer in Bishop’s College, Calcutta (1959-61) and vice principal (1961-66) before returning to England where he served as vice principal of Cuddesdon College, Oxford, then in parish ministry, then becoming Dean of Gloucester Cathedral( 1983-96).

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