Battling the Indian heat

Morris and Rosa Jones spent their honeymoon on a hot, slow steamer boat chugging its way to India.

The new Mr and Mrs Morris

The Reverend Elias Morris Jones – known as Morris – had met his future wife, Miss Rosa Geraldine Lowdell at their church, St Paul’s Kirkdale in Liverpool, where he was the curate and she was the women’s worker.  When they met, Morris was due to sail alone to India in October 1924, as one of BCMS’s first mission partners. Plans changed when he wrote a letter of proposal to Rosa in July 1924!

Rosa was surprised – she was nine years older than Morris and reluctant to leave the women she pastored. But after praying, she accepted Morris’ proposal and embarked on the weeks-long voyage to India with her new husband, just nine days after their wedding.

Morris and Rosa were based near Saugor (Sagar), in Madhya Pradesh, central India. Their district included 800 unevangelised villages, which Morris travelled between, sharing the gospel with whoever would listen.

It was dusty work in the baking heat. The horizon was a constant shimmer, travellers kicked up clouds of dust and frenzied chants to Hindu gods echoed at roadside shrines.   Morris was a passionate evangelist, travelling in the hottest part of the day when other mission partners sheltered from the heat. He persevered with his Hindi language studies, learnt to ignore his aching joints from travelling and to eat the spicy dishes of the locals.

John Morris Jones - the first BCMS baby!

The family served for six years in India (in Saugor and later in Mirzapur) before Morris’ health broke down. They returned to England in 1930. Recognising he could not bear the Indian heat, Morris turned to parish work in England. But their ministry back home continued to bear fruit in India throughout the 1930s. Morris’  influence saw many young men become Christians, study for church ministry – and go to India.

These included Alan Neech (who served in India 1937–1964 and later became the Secretary of BCMS) and Samuel Burgoyne (Morris’ best man, who served in India 1927–1953).

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Polly Standring

As the communications content developer at Crosslinks, Polly helps mission partners connect with both Crosslinks and their supporters back home. As well as ensuring Crosslinks' internal communications run smoothly, she also oversees the writing of our external communications, including the Crosslinks blog.