Obituary: The Rev George Golding

George Charles Golding, priest and monk: born Sittingbourne, Kent 9 February 1911; ordained priest 1939; joined Brotherhood of the Epiphany 1942; Father Superior of Oxford Mission in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Warden, Sisterhood of Epiphany 1968-93; Warden, Christa Sevika Sangha (Hand Maids of Christ), Jobarpar, Bangladesh, 1970-93; OBE 1992; died Barisal, Bangladesh 7 July 1993.

GEORGE GOLDING was a good and holy man, whose whole life was spent in the service of God and of his fellow men in the Indian subcontinent. For 51 years he worked for the Oxford Mission in India and Bangladesh.

In 1879 the Bishop of Calcutta appealed to Oxford University for men who could discuss the Christian religion with educated Bengalis in the city. An Anglican Brotherhood of the Epiphany was formed; in 1830 the first Brothers sailed to Calcutta, and the Oxford Mission was born. Its work soon expanded, a Sisterhood joined the Brothers in giving pastoral, educational and medical care, and in 1902 a further mission station was started in Barisal in what is now Bangladesh. Father George, as he was affectionately known, was Superior of the Oxford Mission in Bangladesh and Warden of the Sisterhood there from 1968 until his death.

He followed the strict sevenfold monastic Rule of prayer laid down for the Brotherhood by Bishop Charles Gore. This was the foundation of his life: the mission's function was not to proselytise but to be 'a powerhouse of prayer'. But though the Rule was his joy and strength, Golding was no remote and austere figure. The mission at Barisal runs a primary and a secondary school, both co-educational and taking in Muslim and Hindu children as well as Christian, who work and play harmoniously together. There is a home for less academic girls from the villages, who are taught simple household arts; a medical centre, and a hostel for Christian students. The compound is full of happy and purposeful activity, and Golding as Superior was responsible for the running of all these institutions.

In 1970 he added to his care the Wardenship of the newly formed Christa Sevika Sangha, the Hand Maids of Christ; the first entirely indigenous Community in the Mission founded at Jobarpar by Sister Susila SE. For her and the young Sisters, Golding had a special affection, and they were like a family to him.

Another source of joy was the growth in strength of the Church of Bangladesh, most of whose senior clergy had been educated at the Oxford Mission High School at Barisal. He loved the boys and girls he looked after at the mission, often welcoming their children and grandchildren as they followed their parents into the schools and hostels.

Father George's work was crowned in 1992 when he was appointed OBE; it was richly deserved. 'I have never seen an award give so much pleasure and pride to so many,' the High Commissioner said after the investiture. With his death, the community in Bangladesh loses its last Englishman, for no new expatriate vocations have been allowed since India became independent. But his memory will live on, and the work of the mission continue under the Bengali heads of department whom he trained so carefully.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits