Rev. A. C. M. White, Vicar of St. Andrew's, Hadfield 1917-1955
Article based on an obituary from a newspaper cutting.
Archibald Campbell MacAlister White was born on 27 August 1879, the son of a former Rector of Clayton, Manchester, and one of a family of two sisters and two brothers. He was educated at Kings Lynn and started his working life in a cotton mill. He worked for a time at Wood's Mill in Glossop. At the time of the 1901 census he was living in apartments at 38 Talbot Street, described as Apprentice to Cotton Trade. After studying various aspects of the industry, he became assistant manager of a mill in Bolton.
His heart, though, was always with the Christian ministry and he went to the Isle of Man in 1909 where he attended the Bishop Theological College of Man. In 1911 he passed the examination to become a deacon at Southwell and was ordained by the Bishop of Derby in 1909.
It was in 1911 that the Rev. A. C. M. White became curate of Hadfield St. Andrew's, being recorded in the 1911 census as a boarder with the family of George Lowndes, across the road at 11 Church Street. The long serving first vicar, the Rev. Joseph Hadfield, was still in post and and much of the new curate's work was done at the Woolley Bridge Mission. When Rev. Hadfield retired in 1917, Rev. White was appointed to the living.
He was appointed Rural Dean in 1934, his duties making him well known at other places in the Peak District such as Hayfield and New Mills, and had been honorary chaplain to the Bishop of Derby from 1950. He had preached at almost every church in the area.
During his ministry his efforts meant that much of Hadfield's social life centred round St. Andrew's Church as exemplified by the vicar. Even as late as 1953 he set a target of £1,500 at a two-day bazaar and his faith was justified when gross takings exceeded £2,000.
The day school at St. Andrew's always occupied a great deal of the vicar's attention. When he arrived as curate there were about 230 on the roll and two new it classrooms had just been completed. Mr Percy John Holloway started as headmaster 1903 and occupied that position until 1932. He was succeeded by Mr Alan J. Newbury, who remained until 1938, being follow by Mr Clarence Bowden. Since becoming vicar, Archie White had been chairman of the school managers and had seen the roll grow to over the 300 mark. He was also on the governing body of Castle Secondary Modern School, Hadfield.
He was Sunday school superintendent and Commandant of the Hadfield section when the Church Lads Brigade movement was at its height.
Besides visiting old people in the district individually he served on the Old Folks Committee and spent many hours chatting to them in groups.
He loved cricket. He could easily be remembered as Hadfield's "sportsman-vicar," if he had not been so active in a score of other directions in his work in the parish. As president of the St Andrew's Cricket Club he rarely missed an important home match. He was known on all the grounds of the Glossop and District League and their post-war successes gave him great pleasure. In his speeches as president he would invariably stress the value of team-work and sportsmanship.
In yet another way he entered into the hearts of Hadfield folk - through the sphere of amateur dramatics. He produced many of the plays - religious and otherwise - between the wars, and took part in some of them. He regretted the breaking-up of the dramatic society in later years, and was ever ready to give enthusiasts his advice and assistance.
Many people held the opinion that his policy of letting each organisation of the church plan their own events partly accounted for his wonderful popularity. He was able to do this because he trusted each parishioner to do his best for the church.
The Rev. A. C. M. White believed that social events brought people together and cemented the fellowship of the church. He was seldom absent when a social event connected with the church was being organised. Even the ordinary Saturday night whist drive did not seem complete if Mr. White did not "look in.".
Several valuable and beautiful additions were made to the church while Mr. White was vicar. In 1938 he dedicated an oak pulpit presented by Mr and Mrs J. H. Garlick in memory of Mr and Mrs T. Jackson. This was unveiled by Miss Joyce Garlick.
An oak clergy stall was presented by the W.H.M.A Guild to commemorate their Jubilee in 1945. An artistic brass processional cross was given by the parishioners In memory of Mr Fred Rhodes, a loyal vicar's warden for many years.
At the end of the second world war, the Clarion Tubular Bell system was installed - the gift of the parishioners, in memory of the men of the parish who had fought and died. A memorial table in the chancel, inscribed with the names of those who made the supreme sacrifice, was also erected.
Another memorable day came in September 1949 when the Goddard Memorial Chapel in the transept of the church was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Derby. The chapel was given by the mothers' organisation as a thank offering for the Jubilee of their movement. Each chair was inscribed with the name of a "mother" who has died, as a lasting memorial to them.
In December of 1949, the Goddard Memorial Window was unveiled and dedicated. This was the gift of Mr and Mrs A. Goddard, in memory of their son, Sergeant Jock Goddard, reported missing on a bombing raid over Germany. At the same time a new lectern Bible - the gift of the Congregational Union, was also dedicated.
When Mr White had, in 1951, completed 40 years at St Andrew's he was presented with a cheque for £40 at a ceremony in the school as a token of appreciation from the church council. The Rev J. O. M. Dawson-Bowling made the presentation on that occasion. About the same time, the vicar was the guest of honour at a social at the Woolley Bridge Mission, when a cheque was also presented to him. The testimonial said that parishioners gratefully acknowledged "his pastoral care spiritual oversight, and with affectionate esteem tender this loyal duty."
One duty which the Rev A. C. M. White always felt had special significance to him was the conducting of the annual Remembrance Day service, because for many years be had been associated with the Hadfield branch of the British Legion. He had been their first and only president since 1937.
He was a chaplain of the Hadfield Masonic Lodge and Past Provincial chaplain of the Province of Derby.
When Rev. White died in 1955, renovations and decorations were being carried out by Messrs Daley. Wood and Co. - the same contractors who decorated the interior of Glossop Town Hall a few weeks previously. They were to realise an ambition Mr White had cherished for some years. He initiated the very successful St Andrew's Envelope scheme as an additional method of raising money to keep the church in good repair.
Over 500 people filled Hadfield St. Andrew's Church for Rev. White's funeral service and many other people lined the streets, along with school children, as the cortège moved to St. Mary's Church at Disley where Rev. White was interred.
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Last updated: 7 February 2021