The Revd Patrick Goodland MBE: 1929-2014
Minister, author, founding member of Mainstream, honoured for services to the community and developing world - and much more
Having trained at All Nations College, Pat Goodland commenced ministry as an Assistant at Hook Evangelical Church, Surrey. In 1953 Pat married Beryl, and a year later he was called to pastor Stanmore Baptist Church, where he served for 22 years. During this time the church grew from approximately 40 to 240 members, requiring two major building projects.
He also served as part-time Chaplain to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital for eight years, followed by his appointment as Officiating Chaplain at the Royal Air Force Headquarters of No. 11 Group Fighter and Strike Command, Bentley Priory and RAF Stanmore Park.
During their Stanmore days, Pat and Beryl’s loving marriage was blessed and enriched by the arrival of three daughters, Hilary, Brenda and Heather.
For 14 of those years in Stanmore, Pat led one of the largest CSSM missions for two weeks each summer, attracting up to 700 children every day. Pat was also founder Chairman of the Stanmore Christian Housing Association, which developed 49 maisonettes for retirees.
In 1974 Pat travelled as part of a team, taking famine relief to Ethiopia, and during this trip he contracted Typhus and was not expected to live. The following year Pat was honoured by the Queen, for services to the community and the Developing World, receiving the MBE.
Called to Gorsley Baptist Church in 1976, Pat engaged in a vigorous pastoral, preaching and youth ministry. The subsequent growth in membership required extensive reconstruction and extensions to Gorsley’s 19th century premises. During this period, six bungalows for seniors were built; plus he served as Officiating Chaplain to RAF Hereford for five years.
Pat was a member of the Baptist Union Council for many years, serving the denomination in several roles, along with his close involvement with a number of evangelical agencies, including Scripture Union, the China Inland Mission (now OMF UK), the Dodner Creek Medina Sailing Centre, and for seven years Pat served on the Board of Tearfund.
A significant landmark in Pat’s life and ministry was the birth of Mainstream in the late 1970s, being one of the founding members. Former Baptist Union General Secretary David Coffey comments:
I am sure the planning meetings for Mainstream could have been held anywhere in the country. But Gorsley became the significant ‘family home’ for the movement that was to be a turning point in Baptist life for a generation. The generous hosting of Beryl and Pat, the warm hospitality of the Gorsley church members, the sense of prayerful expectancy that marked our meetings, and the fact we never left Gorsley empty handed and always returned home with home grown produce, all this made Gorsley a significant sacred space for the leadership of Mainstream.
Apart from the amazing hospitality, the other significant feature of Gorsley was observing Pat and Beryl modelling through the ministries of Gorsley Baptist, all the values we were promoting through the Mainstream movement. Gorsley and its fruitful ministries was a shop window for the life and growth movement Mainstream was seeking to foster in all our Baptist churches.
Pat was the ideal chairman for Mainstream, bringing a calm presence and gentle wisdom to a sometimes unruly group of prophetic pioneers. Pat was our ‘Mr. Valiant for Truth’ and was unwavering in standing for core evangelical truths and enduring Baptist principles. He was always direct in his prayers to the Lord and would confidently ask our generous God to provide the wisdom we lacked.
Then there was Pat the author! Scripture Union published two of his books – Over 300 games for all occasions… originally Games Galore (It’s still in print 40 years on, now published as Ultimate Games). Then followed Ideas Galore in the same series.
His other books included –
Daily Prayers and Reflections
The Greening of Wild Places - a History of Gorsley Baptist Church and village life.
Pat contributed to the Lion Handbook of Christian Belief
And in 2010, Pat completed his memoirs, entitled, Not a minute to waste, always a moment to spare.
Furthermore, we note Pat’s valuable work on the ‘Jubilate’ Editorial Committee of Hymns for Today’s Church and Church Family Worship; and joint editor of Prayers for the People. Plus he served as a trustee of the Psalms and Hymns Trust and was a member of the editorial team of Baptist Praise and Worship.
Pat retired from the pastorate in 1994, moving to the Gorsley cottage he had restored many years earlier. Active in retirement to the end, Pat continued to write and counsel, with more time available for his precious family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, along with his love of walking, DIY, Gorsley stone building, photography, and lots of reading! After a short illness Pat died on 30 December going to be with his Lord and Saviour.
At the Thanksgiving Service for Pat Goodland’s life (held at Gorsley Baptist Church), David Coffey’s tribute encapsulated the appreciation and gratitude felt by so many people, pastors and Christian leaders particularly, who have each been encouraged by Pat’s faithful life and ministry, as David expressed:
a weighty magnifcat to the Lord for all the gifts and graces of Pat’s richly fruitful life. He was a spiritual elder brother to many of us, immensely kind, wise and generous in his friendship. I suggest the verse from 2 Timothy 4:7 is the perfect spiritual epitaph for the life of Pat Goodland:
He did fight the good fight
He did finish his race
He did keep the faith
And for these spiritual qualities of Pat Goodland we can say – ‘Thanks be to God’.
The Revd Dr Tim Welch, minister of Cambray Baptist Church, Cheltenham