his Life

  He was a keen traveller visiting Tenerife every year for the last twenty years and many other countries visiting relatives and friends in Australia, New Zealand, China, South Africa to name but a few.

John enjoyed with Cynthia and Helen annual visits to Keswick where he would enjoy it's teaching, particularly Charles Price, Alistair Begg and John Stott and the Christian Hymn writer Stuart Townend. It was John's joy and delight to be able to introduce his grandson Luke to the Keswick Convention.

  After celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary both John and Cynthia enjoyed cruising the Carribean and North Cape.


  He used to play putting on the lawn and croquet with grandchildren Katie, Alex and Micheil, when they were growing up. He was a very keen chess player and recently taught his grandson Luke how to play, enjoyed getting down on his hands and knees to build train tracks for both Luke and Sam. He played aeroplanes with his great-granddaughter Grace in their garden, whatched by her brother Joshua.

  Age did eventually catch up with John and the U.R.C. policy was retirement at 65 so he was retired. John's ministry had not retired and he and Cynthia and Helen gave their time and talents to Holy Apostles and St Mary's Church, Scarborough. He was a member of the P.C.C., and he drew the first plans for the Rainbow Centre Trustees. He was a founder member of the Scarborough Health and Healing Trust and a founder member and Deacon of St John's BSL (Deaf) Congregational Church. He organised conferences over the last six years for the Deaf & Hearing Christians Together st Cober Hill  conference centre.

  When two (United Reformed) churches, Trinity in Whitby and Robinhoods Bay were looking for a minister they decided to call John. The family continued to live in Scarborough while John travelled to Whitby each day. In Whitby he strated the Trinity Day Centre for senior citizens and for seven years he and his family ran an alcohol free bar for young people and developed a sports centre in a derelict building belonging to the church at a cost of £250,00.

  After reorganisation of schools he began teaching in Barlby High School, near Selby, where he was Head of Religious Studies and Pastoral care of theLower School, which he did for ten years.

  There was more studying, this time with Glasgow University, and ministry in Glasgow Gorbels and Hamilton. Both John and Cynthia helped with the new programme of Christian education for the Church of Scotland "Growing up in the Church" and John's Church in Hamilton was the pilot centre to test the materials prior to publication. John needed more qualifications to enable him to do more work with young people in Scotland so in 1970 he moved to Scarborough to teach at the Boys High School, gaining while he was there a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and a further degree in English Philosophy and Ethics. On completion of this extra training he was invited by the Church of Scotland to return for interview but as finances were rather short he was unable to travel as it was a matter of choice - go to Scotland or buy shoes for the children....

  At this point his Scottish roots began to pull him northwards to the Church of Scotland [he had an uncle and cousin both in the Church of Scotland ministry]. He told the Methodist Conference and they asked him to resign - No, not John, he told them that he believed ordination was for life, so instead of resigning he became the first Methodist minister to be transferred to another ministry with the blessing of the Methodist Conference.

      John was ordained in Bristol at Conference in 1959. Cynthia travelled from Bradford to be there even though she was pregnant with Jonathan who was born the following month. There was just time for the Rev Raymond Pittman the Superintendent Minister to baptise Jonathan before they moved to serve in the East Hull Circuit.

      In the 3 years that John was in the East Hull Circuit he was the York and Hull District Youth Secretary and President of the District M.A.Y.C.

      At the same time Cynthia his future wife had trained as a teacher at Southlands Methodist Training College and she had also travelled to Tintagel as Senior Lady Officer. There was a bad storm on the first night , 150 people all in tents, but only one tent was left standing, and that was Cynthia's which was storm-rigged.

      So that is how John and Cynthia met, Cynthia had the only tent that withstood the storm, which was probably a good omen for their marriage which would have to withstand the many storms and challenges of life in the Ministry which lay ahead. Not surprisingly they married in 1957 - requiring the permission of conference because a Methodist Minister could not usually marry before he was ordained.

      During his time at Bradford Technical College, now the Bradford University, studying Chemistry, he felt called to full time ministry in the Methodist Church. He was accepted by the selection committee and began training at Richmond College London, where he obtained his B.D. degree of London University. Stationing Committee asked him if he was called to serve at home or abroad : his choice was home so they sent him to Woodhouse Grove Circuit, which was next to Greenhill.

       He helped to run the Methodist Youth Camps , and so in the summer of 1956 he spent four weeks at Tintagel in Cornwall as commandant of the camp.

      Early education was at a small private school but at the age of 8 he began school life at Thornville the then Junior department of Bradford Gammar School and then he progressed to the senior department. During this time he was a regular attender at Greenhill Methodist Church, and at the tender age of 11 he gave his life to Jesus Christ. He was a regular member of the church's youth group. At school he was a scout, then patrol leader and eventually assistant scout master under the guidance of Mr Clarkson who was affectionately known as "the old man". He had  a great deal of respect for "the old man", who had a great deal of influence on his life, and he often remembered him. Towards the end of his time at Bradford Grammar School he was greatly impressed by David Temple who taught Religion in great depth, and he wondered why he had not known such depth of teaching previously.

John McBride Dean


      John was born in Hull while his father was a GP there. He was the second son of Scottish parents and he was very proud of his Scottish ancestry. He always joked that "a cat born in a dog kennel does not make it a dog". When he was six years old the family moved to Bradford. Holidays were spent in Aberdeen where his grandfather had bought a house. He remembered having rides in the bullock cart along the seafront. All of his grandfather's brothers and sisters had emigrated; first to South Africa and then to New Zealand with his great-grandfather so contact with the other Deans was only by letter.