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Minister will be missed by many

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The funeral took place recently at Summerbridge Church in Nidderdale of the Reverend Bernard Edwin Umpleby.

The service, which drew one of the largest congregation of mourners seen in the Dale in recent times, was conducted by some of his close friends and workers in the ministry.

Rev Umpleby, who died on December 1 2017 in Bradford, aged 83, was formally of Darley and a long serving preacher and subsequentally, pastor of Thorpe Edge Evangelical Church, Bradford, for many years.

Born at his father’s farm at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, Rev Umpleby and his two brothers Eric and Kenneth were brought up during the war years and attended Hookstone School, Darley, for their early education and later at secondary schools in Harrogate.

Life was busy on the farm but Sundays were special days for the Umpleby family, as every weekend they would attend Sunday School and Chapel along with their parents.

During his teenage years Rev Umpleby became a born-again Christian and following this, at the age of 18 years, he was called up for National Service, in which he stayed for four years till he was demobbed in 1955.

Back home in Darley Bernard, together with a number of young lads, who were all born-again Christians formed a group who became known as Darley Men’s Mission Band. They travelled around the Nidderdale Methodist Circuit preaching.

This led, in 1957, to Bernard feeling the call to go to Bible College so he went to Cliff College in Sheffield for Evangelism and preaching training.

In 1962 he started a four-year course to become a Methodist minister at Headingley Methodist College.

Following his training, over a period of years he served as a minister at Ebbw Vale, Loftus and Kirby Stephen Methodist Circuits.

In 1993 he took up the challenge to pastor the Thorpe Edge Evangelical Church in Bradford until his death.

Rev Umpleby preached in different parts of the world including Canada, USA, Uganda, Romania and Germany, to name a few.

A Service of thanksgiving for his life and ministry was held on January 21 at his church in Thorpe Edge where his last appointment was only two weeks before he died in hospital.

His home church in Darley owes much to his enthusiasm and Evangelical preaching and he will be dearly missed both there and at his church in Bradford.

Bernard will also be dearly missed by his family and many friends he has made down the years both at home and abroad.