The Stanfield Memorial Fund was established by Rev John E Stanfield, Dr Lorna C Barrie and Lady (Audrey) Wood together with their children and grandchildren as a permanent memorial to their parents, Rev John Howard Stanfield and Lillian May Stanfield. The memorial fund has supported the building of the new Gatehouse and Screen, including a perching bench carved with a quote from John Wesley “I look upon the whole world as my parish”. The family’s global ministry, stretching from 1874 to 1997, reflects this. The remaining funds have been donated to the College’s Bursary Fund.
The Revd John E Stanfield writes:
Through the fund the family is also celebrating its global work with the Methodist Missionary Society, stretching from 1874 to 1997, as follows:
Our grandparents, Rev Edward and Celia Harris, South Africa 1874 to 1884
Our parents, Rev John Howard and Lillian May Stanfield, China 1910 to 1951
Me, Rev John E Stanfield, Gambia W. Africa, 1950 to 1957
My wife, Enid Stanfield (Robertshaw), India 1954 to 1958
My daughter and son-in-law, Rev Dr Simon Topping and Jane Stanfield, Argentina 1994 to 1997
John E Stanfield came to Wesley House after the Second World War in which he served in the Royal Signals. John worked first in Kweilin with the British Army Aid Group, originally formed to get prisoners out of Hong Kong. Kweilin was partially destroyed under the Chinese ‘scorched earth’ policy and John drove a thousand miles north to Sian (resting place of the buried warriors found thirty years later). There he worked with Chinese intelligence to establish wireless stations on the Yellow River. The tide of war changed abruptly with the allied dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima after which John flew six hundred miles to Peking, the Japanese-occupied capital of China, and as the senior British officer present signed the final Japanese surrender in the Forbidden City of the Emperors of China.
After his training at Wesley House John continued the missionary tradition of his family and was sent to the small West African country of the Gambia (China, his first preference, being closed because of the Communist take-over), and quickly became not only the Synod secretary of the Gambia District but also its Acting Chairman.