Clifford Scurr (1938-2007)
Clifford Scurr passed into the presence of his Saviour on 14 December 2007. Born in Middlesbrough in 1938, he was a quantity surveyor. He did National Service in Hong Kong, and had a lifelong love for the Far East and its people – a lasting memory was meeting Gladys Aylward.
Clifford was also interested in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. He would make a point of befriending people from these regions, and give them a Bible or a New Testament in their own language. He had a keen interest in worldwide mission.
His brother Arthur says: ‘An abiding memory of Clifford was the gift he had of being able to introduce himself to other people. After a few minutes of conversation he would come back with his notebook containing names, addresses, telephone numbers and a little knowledge of that person. From then on he would keep in contact and in many cases would have a lasting friendship’.
Clifford was converted as a teenager at Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church, Darlington. He was a faithful church member all his life, serving as deacon and then elder. He especially valued each of Geneva Road’s ministers – Malcolm Beaton, Andrew Swanson, David Campbell and Mark Rowcroft.
His faith was rooted in the Bible; he loved and knew it well. He maintained a lifelong allegiance to the Shorter Catechism. He was an avid and wide reader, and had a great sense of humour.
Clifford had a deep concern for the unity of the local church and took the duty of personal evangelism seriously. Mark Rowcroft comments: ‘When I first came to Darlington and spoke with different people about how they had been converted, I was struck by the number who spoke of Clifford’s influence upon them’.
Clifford’s interest in church life was not restricted to Geneva Road. His determined and enthusiastic support of other churches expressed itself in his attendance at preaching rallies and many other Christian events, and especially in his own preaching across the north east.
Clifford married Maureen in 1961. She and the wider family now feel their loss keenly. Clifford was always conscious that he was a sinner; yet, so grateful to God for his salvation. He recognised that Jesus his Saviour was his only hope. During the last weeks of his life he showed no concern for himself, had a peaceful assurance, and spent time making detailed notes to hand over jobs he was unable to finish himself.
Two friends unknown to each other – one a work colleague and the other a minister – described him with the same words: ‘he was a gem’.