Bradford, Archie (1908-1976)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ARCHIE BRADFORD: born in Leeds on 15th June 1908. He left school at the age of 14 to take up the trade of French polishing. In his late teens however the call to the ministry came and he entered Hartley College in 1931. His probation was in the Sheffield (North) Circuit, setting the pattern for his ministry which was all to be in centres of large population. After ordination in 1938 he went to the London Mission (South-East) taking his bride, Mona, to share his work under the terrors of the blitz. Then, after a period in the Rochdale (North) Circuit, he returned to the Sheffield (North) Circuit. The second term there was followed by a second term in the London Mission (South-East), this time as Superintendent, with the daunting task of reorganising the work after the havoc of war. He then served in the following circuits: Manchester (Wythenshawe) (which he helped to merge with the Manchester Mission), Keighley, Paisley Mission and Barnsley East (where he shared in amalgamating the East and West Circuits into the one Barnsley Circuit of which he became Superintendent). This record of appointments indicates that here was a man of outstanding administrative ability. 

But there was very much more to Archie Bradford than that: to all his congregations he was a compelling preacher of the Gospel and a true pastor of the flock; to his fellow ministers he was a splendidly strong colleague; to people outside the Church he was a man who by his sheer friendliness let the warmth of Christ’s love into their lives. Demanding as his circuits were, his devotion and energy were such that he never shirked the ‘second mile’: to normal Church responsibilities he would add hospital and industrial chaplaincies; and three times he spent his holidays on preaching missions in the United States. His main relaxation was with his books. He was a bibliophile, loving books for themselves as products of fine craftsmanship and as a means of entry into the wide fields of English literature where his first love was for the Brontes. While he was in Barnsley illness struck. He retired in 1974 to make his home in Glasgow but his illness was incurable and, nursed devotedly by his wife, he died at home on 1st August 1976 in the sixty-ninth year of his age and the forty-second year of his ministry.

Family

Archie was born on 15 June 1908 at Leeds, Yorkshire, to parents George Bradford, a french polisher, and Annie Eliza Brace.

He was married to Mona Bell (b1909) in the summer of 1938 in the Don Valley Registration District, Yorkshire.

Archie died on 1 August 1976 at Glasgow.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1934 Sheffield N
  • 1937 London M, SE
  • 1941 Rochdale N
  • 1944 Sheffield N
  • 1948 London M, SE
  • 1952 Manchester Wythenshawe
  • 1959 Keighley
  • 1964 Wigan Strand
  • 1969 Barnsley E
  • 1974 Glasgow (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 1977/60

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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