Maland, Thomas (1878-1927)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by W.H. Howard

The Rev. Thomas Maland was one of those who grew up into our Church. His ancestry was Primitive Methodist and his father and mother were attached to the Higherland Church, Newcastle, Staffs.—his father from the time he settled there at the age of twenty-one, and his mother from girlhood. It was not surprising then that at the age of seven he made a gesture of confidence in the Lord of the childlike, a gesture which at the age of eighteen was translated into a full and definite devotion to the Saviour of men. At once he threw himself whole heartedly into Christian work. The Sunday School and the Christian Endeavour seem to have claimed at this time the larger part of his activities. He did not leave work till 11 p.m. on Saturday night, but he was always present at the Sunday morning School, and the monthly Christian Endeavour Prayer Meeting which was held at 7 a.m. never found him absent.. The early interest which he displayed in the Christian Endeavour never waned.

His activities in the Christian Endeavour were to lead to larger service. Passing through the usual stages of being on note and on the plan, his work as a local preacher and the pleasant  flavour of his Christian discipleship led the Church unanimously to call him for the ministry. He gladly responded, and after spending a year at Cross Keys he entered College in in 1904.

The ministry of Tom Maland (as he loved to be called) was geographically wide, for he travelled on the Belfast, Horsham, Sleaford, Brighouse, Guernsey, Weston-super-Mare and Lavender Hill (London) Circuits,

It seemed likely that his story would be that of an honoured servant of the Church going through the evening of a quiet old age to peaceful rest. But during the last years of his ministry a darkness gathered. A disabling physical infirmity threw a shadow over the sun. There were times when the voice which had spoken the message of the Master was silent and all the wheels of Christian service stood still. And all his friends who contemplated this eclipse were sorrowful. It seemed to them as sad as some of those Russian dramas or Celtic myths which have been unequalled in the history of sorrow—or even as that scene outside the city wall when the sun was darkened and earth’s common places became unstable.

But they were wrong. The centre was undisturbed. Those who were nearest to him in the home—his wife and children—knew that he was patient and confident and serene. The evening before he went to Norwich, where he died, he wrote a message to his wife in shaky characters, and the purport of that message was that though God was testing him severely yet his faith was firm; and that if they did not meet again on earth, she was always to remember that Love is eternal.

So when on November 21st, 1927, at the age of forty-nine, our brother passed away, and his Norwich brethren observed the last solemn rites, we seemed to see a sun piercing through the cloud of sorrow we had been enshrouded in before. Death seemed to be in retreat before the golden victory, and we felt sure of some brighter day when we should know again the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still.

Family

Thomas was born in 1878 at Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, to parents George, a general labourer, and Elizabeth. His brother, Joseph, was also a PM minister.

Before entering the ministry Thomas worked as a grocer shopkeeper (1901).

He married Maggie Barnet Carruthers (1882-1953) in the summer of 1912 in the Horsham Registration District, Sussex. Birth Records identify two children.

  • Kathleen Jessie (1913-1995) – a trained assistant teacher (1939); married Norman Thetford in 1939
  • Marion Doreen (1921-1997) – married Archibald G Kirk in 1945

Thomas died on 21 November 1927 at Norwich, Norfolk.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1906 Belfast
  • 1907 Horsham
  • 1909 Ripley
  • 1910 Bath
  • 1912 Sleaford
  • 1915 Brighouse
  • 1917 Guernsey
  • 1920 Weston-Super-Mare
  • 1924 Clapham Common

References

PM Minutes 1928/265

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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