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Thanksgiving service planned for former UK Billy Graham director

A service to give thanks for the life of Maurice Rowlandson, former director of the work of Billy Graham in the UK, will take place in Reading, Berkshire, in September ...

A thanksgiving service for Maurice Rowlandson, former director of the work of Billy Graham in the UK, will take place in Reading, Berkshire, in September.

Maurice passed away on Thursday 13 August, just two days before his 90th birthday. He was a key figure in the life of the UK evangelical church over a number of decades, and will be remembered by many for his work, character and faith.

Maurice was serving as Extensions Secretary at the Evangelical Alliance when he was appointed to the team running Dr Billy Graham’s first crusade in England, in 1954. It was the biggest evangelism venture ever; more than a million people attended events spanning three months.

Seven years later, Maurice became Director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK, and he held this position until 1987. During this time, Maurice organised 23 major mission events in cities including Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, London, Norwich, Blackpool and Sheffield. Maurice was known for his networking abilities, enthusiasm and leadership. Thousands of people came to faith at the events.

From 1979 until 1992, Maurice was General Secretary of the Keswick Convention, and later wrote a book about the experience.

Maurice loved sailing and founded the Venturers Norfolk Broads Cruise, a week-long Christian sailing camp for young people. Generations of teenagers have taken the part in the camp, which has now been running for 70 years. He also organised a conference for young people called SPRE-E 73 in the 1970s, which drew 10,000 attendees from across the UK.

Maurice held positions on several charities: as well as his involvement with Venturers, he was chairman of TransWorld Radio and a trustee of Walk Through the Bible.  

He once contested a Parliamentary seat for the Liberal Party, in 1959, and was a magistrate for 27 years. Maurice was even an Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle, and conjuring was one of his great loves.

Maurice leaves his wife Marilyn and two children, Julian and Jacky, as well as eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His life will be celebrated at a service at Greyfriars Church, Reading, at 11am on 26 September.

A webpage has been set up for those who may wish to give towards Maurice’s chosen charities:  


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