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Obituary: Mary Gladstone (1926–2020)

November 2020 | by Rob Gladstone

The importance of the Bible for beliefs and behaviour, as well as lucid books to bring Scripture afresh to each generation – this is what inspired Mary Gladstone’s 35 years as copy editor and proofreader at IVP from 1951 until her retirement.

The three-volume Illustrated Bible Dictionary was her labour of love. Her final book was John Stott’s The Cross of Christ.

Born in Sedbergh, Mary grew up in an evangelical family. Her grandfather was co-founder of Crosslinks. After school at Casterton, she was converted in her first year at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she graduated in 1946 after studying French and German.

The following year she and her friends welcomed an unconverted fresher, Helen Roseveare, who would become one of the most courageous missionaries of the 20th century.

After spending five years as Assistant University Librarian in Birmingham, Mary joined IVP (then IVF) as editorial assistant to Ronald Inchley.

She immediately began attending evening lectures by Donald Guthrie at London Bible College to sharpen her theological understanding. IVP was then the UK’s leading independent evangelical publisher.

Mary had a practical, generous, and prayerful faith. She provided rooms for students from LBC in her home and was a faithful and prayerful witness to her wider family.

Mary retired with her brother to Sedbergh and they made their home a place of hospitality for Christians driving up the M6.

In her 90s she continued singing in the church choir, despite diminishing eyesight. She viewed her eventual loss of vision as providing more time to pray. Mary went to be with Christ on 6 August 2020.

Rob Gladstone