Maland, Gordon Albert (1901-1978)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

GORDON ALBERT MALAND: born on 21st December 1901 in Wapella, Saskatchewan, where his father was a lay agent. The family returned to England and it was from Eastbourne that he offered in 1921 for the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church. After training at Hartley College he served in the Hay, Leytonstone and Stratford, Newbury and Leeds II Circuits. In 1933 he was appointed to the Chorley Circuit and then began a connection with the North Lancashire District that was to continue until his death. He served in the Blackburn (Trinity), Lytham St. Annes, Blackpool (North) and Preston, (Wesley and Trinity) Circuits. 

As a circuit minister he gave himself whole-heartedly to his people. Each one of his members mattered and he prepared himself to help them, as preacher, pastor or administrator and his ministry in each place is remembered with deep gratitude. He kept abreast of events and was ever wiling to try new ways of presenting the Gospel. At Raikes Parade, Blackpool, he pioneered film services. From 1943 to 1951 he was Synod Secretary. In 1957 he was elected Chairman, after acting as such during Dr. H. Crawford Walters’ Presidential year. His appointment as Chairman merely widened his pastoral concern. 

There was still overlapping of churches and circuits and he began a task not so much of rationalisation as of enabling the Methodist people to see a new vision. Consequently in nearly every large town in the District there is one strong central church and redundancy is almost unknown. This was not achieved without long and sometimes heated discussion, but he retained the affection and respect of all involved. As one member wrote, he was ‘a kind and patient gentleman, and one who would tolerate no nonsense.’ These characteristics helped the church unity discussions in a District where views differed widely. 

One of his greatest contributions was in the realm of education. He urged that Methodist schools should play a full part in the community. He became a member of the Lancashire Education Committee and of the Connexional Education Committee. Some fine examples of shared schools in the area owe much to his thoughtful guidance. 

The ministers in his district knew they had a skilled counsellor and firm friend. In all of this he was ably supported by his talented and devoted wife, Maud. He retired to Lytham but his health was impaired. Although rarely able to preach, his ministry continued. His faith encouraged his brethren and he and his wife continued to receive visitors who knew that here was a wealth of wisdom which would never be offered unsolicited. He was an appreciative listener and loved to assist at communion services. Above all he continued to be himself, kindly, courteous, gracious, warm and understanding. Even when, following an operation in 1976 he sometimes became confused, the essential Christian character of the man shone through. 

He died quite peacefully on 2nd June 1978 in the seventy-seventh year of his life and the fifty-fourth year of his ministry.

Family

Gordon was born on 21 December 1901 at Wapella Saskatchewan, Canada, to parents Albert Edward Maland, a grocer (1911), and Katie Temperance Bragg. His brother, George was also a PM minister.

He married Florence Maud Bosence (1905-1993) in the spring of 1928 in the Eastbourne Registration District, Sussex. Birth Records identify two children.

  • David (b1929)
  • Winifred J (b1933 – married Grenville R Jones in 1957

Gordon died on 2 June 1978 at Lytham St Annes, Lancashire..

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1924 Hay
  • 1926 Leytonstone
  • 1928 Newbury
  • 1929 Leeds II
  • 1933 Chorley
  • 1936 Blackburn Trinity
  • 1940 Lytham
  • 1946 Blackpool N
  • 1951 Preston Wes
  • 1953 Preston Trinity
  • 1957 N Lancs District Chairman
  • 1969 Lytham (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1979/77

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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