Sydney Jones OBE
When preparing for an interview on ‘Frost on Sunday’, Sydney Jones described his childhood as “somewhat bleak which was relieved through attending the Sunday School at the Baptist Church. The charismatic Sunday School Superintendent took a great interest in all of us and it was through him I began to attend church. He would invite us to tea and encourage us to attend evening service with him and his family”. This early start in Church life continued and, whilst working for a firm of accounts, he recalled feeling “that God’s plan was for me to work with young people, particularly deprived young people”. This led to a career in teaching, culminating as headmaster of a residential school for young offenders.
As a young man, Sydney Jones sat behind the sons of the Founder – Sir William Alexander Smith – at the Founder’s Centenary service in St Paul’s Cathedral in 1954, and the following year, in 1955, attended the first ever KGVI course held at Felden Lodge. In 1988 he was appointed Secretary of The Boys’ Brigade, a position he would hold until his retirement in 2001. On his leaving the ‘BB’ he stated: “My happiest and most abiding memories of my time in the Brigade will not be the high-profile events, meeting royalty, or being treated as a VIP. It will be the times I have spent with many of our young leaders on courses such as KGVI and projects such as New Horizons during which I have shared times of prayer with them. To witness the strength of their faith has been awesome and, over the years, to see that faith develop has been a moving experience”.
His work amongst youth was recognised with the award of an OBE in 1995 for Services to Young People.