Obituary of Arthur Maelor Griffiths

Paul wrote this obituary of his father-in-law, Arthur Maelor Griffiths for the Baptist Times.

With the passing of Maelor Griffiths on 18 February the churches of North Wales have lost one of its leading Baptist laymen. Born in Ammanford, South Wales, on 5 June 1915, he was named after the Vale of Maelor, the Rhosllannerchrugog area of North Wales from which his parents came. A son of the manse: his father was John Griffiths, who at that time was minister of an influential Welsh-speaking Baptist church, and later became Principal of the South Wales Baptist College in Cardiff.

Maelor was educated at Cardiff High School for Boys; then at University College, Cardiff, where he read Classics; and finally at Cardiff Art School. After serving with RAF stations in Bomber Command (1940-1946), he became an art teacher, first at Grove Park Boys’ School, Wrexham (1946-1950), and then at Ysgol Rhiwabon (1950-1975) and had a significant influence upon several generations of children. Like his father, he was a well-read and cultured man, and so he was a natural choice to head up the Arts and Crafts section of the National Eisteddfod when it was held in Wrexham.

On moving to Wrexham, North Wales, in 1946 he and Mavis became members of The Old Meeting (Chester Street Baptist Church). There for many years he served as a deacon and church secretary and in so doing helped form many a young minister. A strong-minded individual, he had high ‘Kingdom’ standards, and to the discomforture of some expected them of others in the fellowship! Maelor was a principled Baptist and for many years was on committees of the North Wales English Baptist Union as also of the (then) Lancs and Cheshire Baptist Association. A committed ecumenist, he co-founded Wrexham Council of Churches (now Cytun), of which he was one of its first Presidents, and he helped start the Wrexham Christian Aid Committee, of which he was Secretary for many years.

In 1940 Maelor married Mavis Baker, whom he had met at Cardiff University, in Gilgal Baptist Church, Porthcawl, where the service was conducted by the Rev Ithel Jones. Maelor was always very proud that on her retirement from teaching Mavis became active in the Womens Peace Movement and in that connection she marched all the way from Wrexham to Greenham Common. On Maelor’s death, Mavis was fortunate not to remain a widow for long, for she herself died on 20 February and is now, we believe, re-united with him.

Maelor together with Mavis was also immensely proud of his daughter, Caroline, who married Paul Beasley-Murray, and is now HM Coroner for Essex and Thurrock; as also of his grand-children, Jonathan, Timothy, Susannah and Benjamin.