It is with sadness that we note the passing of Revd Stanley Jones on March 5.
The memories of those in St George's Presbyterian church during his time, which saw the transition under his ministry and guidance to the United Reformed Church, are echoed by the words of his son, Glyn, below:"
Between 1959 and 1974, my father was minister at St George’s (as Northgate URC was known at the time). Initially, St George’s was part of the Presbyterian Church of England but, during our family’s time in Darlington, it became part of the United Reformed Church. Da had reservations about whether the creation of the URC would strengthen the church. He was occasionally regarded as a rebel at the General Assembly. We are proud of Da for many reasons, including his mischievous and rebellious streaks.
On Shrove Tuesday my father died – very peacefully and beautifully in Shrewsbury. He has been suffering from dementia for several years. My mother (Muriel Jones, who had served God alongside Da in Darlington) had been at his bedside for the previous 24 hours, together with my sister. I’d arrived in Shrewsbury a few hours earlier. I’m not sure whether anyone who still attends the church will remember Da. He was a mighty man of God and was in his prime in his Darlington years. He preached some memorable sermons from the old pulpit and touched the lives of many hundreds of people.
In his time, the Darlington congregation grew. I know his message to the current church leadership would be that God has a plan for renewal and growth of His church. And you are very much part of his plan. Da always had faith and the renewal of the church was one of his convictions. All of the churches where he worked grew. All were alive.
Da worked as an RAF chaplain at Middleton One Row (which has since become Teeside Airport) and at Catterick Garrison. He was the religious advisor to Tyne Tees Television. Indeed it was when one of the elders saw Da on television late one night Epilogue programme that he was contacted and asked to preach with a view to becoming the minister at St George’s.
Da was 94. His is survived by his wife Muriel, his two children and four grandsons. We would all be grateful to be remembered in your prayers at Northgate Church. Some of the worship Da led in your building was so powerful that the very stones and roof eaves will still remember them."
There will be a family service in Shrewsbury and then a service of thanksgiving in his ‘old’ Marlow church in a few weeks time .