Reports of Gospel Work and Other Assembly Activities – March-April 1953


We had no space in our last number to refer to a report we received of the Autumn Meeting of the London Village Workers. These workers are drawn from 38 London assemblies, and they are divided into six parties to visit the villages and isolated hamlets and homes. Some of these have to be reached through narrow lanes which are quite unsuitable for motor-vehicles, and for this reason cycles are often used. House-to-house visitation is an important part of the work, and it has been found to be well worth while, although as in Paul’s day there are “many adversaries.”

A progress report in connection with a new Hall at Muswell Hill also had to be left out because of lack of space. The work commenced in July, 1951, and to reduce costs much of the manual labour was undertaken by brethren in the assembly. By May 1952 the walls had been partly raised, and by October the work was far enough advanced for the building to be occupied.

From time to time we receive copies of “The Record,” a magazine issued in connection with the Victoria Hall assembly, Wandsworth. With the November number there was enclosed an attractive little booklet published as a souvenir of the assembly’s jubilee celebrations. The history of “These Fifty Years” makes interesting reading even for one who is not personally acquainted with the work; for those more intimately concerned it must surely be an inspiration for loyal and active continuance. Although “past mercies will not suffice for present needs,” an occasional retrospect can be both illuminating and encouraging. The immediate difficulties and discouragements may tend to obscure the broader picture of what has been accomplished through the years, and as that picture is unfolded we may exclaim with our Victoria Hall friends, “What a responsibility rests on each one of us to see that our lives, our character and our conduct are right before the Lord, and that Christ is indeed Lord of all! May we pledge ourselves to the work so that, by love serving one another, we may see the good hand of our God upon us, to prosper the work, that it may truly be said, ‘The Lord is there.’”


This work was commenced in October, 1948, in the house of A. E. Stapley with a class of four. By September, 1949, the weekly class had grown to 37, and in 1951 the numbers were such that it had to be divided into two classes (Junior and Senior).

In April, 1952, after a fortnight’s Tent Mission, gospel-meetings were commenced on Lord’s-day evening. Some 25 to 30 people came to the house every Lord’s Day. On alternate Lord’s Days a meeting for the breaking of bread is held after the gospel-meeting.

On the first Sunday of this year a Sunday School was started. After much prayer and waiting upon God, it seemed that the Lord had opened the way for a permanent testimony, a plot of land was purchased, plans were prepared, and these were approved by the’ Local Authority. As soon as circumstances permit, the building of a Hall will be commenced. (A. E. S.)


The requirements of the City re-development plan, causing the demolition of the fine old Raleigh Street Hall, with its 750 seats, two galleries and 10 classrooms, brought great distress to the saints of Plymouth.

A new building (Ford Park Hall) has been erected at Mutley Plain. This seats approximately 400 persons and has a sloping floor; in addition there are six useful classrooms. The opening of the Hall took place on 6th December, when encouraging fellowship was had with the other Plymouth assemblies and helpful ministry was given by visiting brethren. (G. H. Maxwell)


Well over 800 people practically filled the largest public hall in Barnstaple for the opening of Stan. Ford’s campaign and several times during the ensuing fortnight the assembly hall was filled with a congregation of about 400. Several have come forward to confess Christ, and the interest is being well maintained. Four nights a week large companies of children have gathered, and in addition Mr. Ford has secured openings in most of the schools in the area.

A company of about 250, drawn largely from the district affected by the disastrous flood last August, filled the Town Hall at Lynton on two Saturday nights. Believers in Barnstaple assembly and in the assemblies around have shown great keeness in bringing neighbours, and in several instances coaches have brought folk from nearby villages. It is hoped to make special arrangements to cater for the spiritual needs of those who have become interested. ‘


Some 200 children from a new housing estate consisting of 400 houses attended meetings in a tent during September, when Harold E. Bentall was the evangelist. Meetings for adults were poorly attended but a special “parents’ evening” on Sunday attracted more. A feature of this campaign was a “come as you can” prayer-meeting held daily at the Octagon between 7.30 and 9.30 each morning.

Tom Moore, of Devizes, had children’s meetings in the Octagon six weeks later. Apart from the children who sought help during the mission, some were so stirred that they have made profession since. (G. H. Maxwell)


Many believers in South Wales value the opportunity of coming to meetings for the ministry of the Word toward the close of a year and the opening of a New Year. Good companies gathered at Bridgend on December 26th, and at the Heath Hall, Cardiff, on December 27th, also at Adamsdown Hall, Cardiff, on January 3rd. The Lord granted helpful and searching ministry in each place. E. H. Grant remained in the district for several weeks, visiting Adamsdown Hall, Ebenezer Hall, Bethesda Hall, Whitchurch, Bridgend and Caerphilly. (Harold Thomas)


During the autumn of 1952 a gospel campaign was conducted in the Gospel Hall, Newtownards, Co. Down, by Samuel Thompson, who is himself a member of the Newtownards assembly. Many interesting contacts were made in the course of house-to-house visitation. The residents received Mr. Thompson whole-heartedly and many of them attended the meetings, which lasted for nine Weeks. Over 20 people professed faith in Christ, and among them were some outstanding cases of conversion. A few backsliders were also restored. (J. Ferguson)


The annual conference held on the 3rd January, 1953, was the largest on record; 800 were estimated to be present. It was an inspiring sight to see such a company gathered to hear the Word of God, more so when 75% were young Christians. Messrs, Gooding, Hunter, Hewitt and Leckie ministered the Word to profit. At the gospel-meeting on the following Sunday, Mr. Gooding and Mr. Hunter preached powerful, warning gospel messages, resulting in six souls being saved. Mr. H. Bell, Jarrow, continued with a series of gospel-meetings from the 10th to the 16th. The hall was packed nightly, quite a number being present for the first time. Two souls trusted Christ, and many others were deeply convicted. (C. R. Taylor)


A brother in fellowship in Holburn Hall - a regular in the R.A.F. stationed at the aerodrome at Dyce, about four miles from Aberdeen - commenced, in May of last year, a small Sunday School for the children of the married airmen. It is held in a hut granted by the Station Commander. On an average there are between 25 and 30 children of every age each Sunday. Unlike a civilian community, these children have to move quite a lot, as their fathers are sent to different stations; however the numbers remain about the same, as new families move in. .

In August a meeting was started for the Service personnel in the N.A.A.F.I. canteen. It is held each alternate Sunday and lasts one hour. It takes the form of community hymn-singing and a short, clear, gospel message. Various brethren from Aberdeen help in this’ effort. The work has been blessed and has led to conversation with many of the lads. One young London airman professed conversion and is definitely witnessing for his new Master. He spoke very plainly to his family when home on leave just a few weeks after, with the result that his mother and brother have professed. This young airman, Leslie Clayden, was subsequently posted to an overseas station. Please pray for him and the work here.

An effort is being made by the young Christians in Aberdeen to reach the many young people who parade the main street on Sunday nights. A gospel-meeting is held at 8.15 p.m. in Hebron Hall, after the usual gospel-meeting, and large numbers of these young folks have been brought to hear the Glad Tidings. At the meeting on Sunday, January 18th, there were 170 present, including a large number of unsaved. Several have shown a real interest.

Luther Rees had two weeks’ ministry-meetings in Holburn Hall during January. He spoke on the Tabernacle, and the ministry was very practical and searching. Great interest was shown in the meetings, the hall being filled each night. At the gospel-meetings on the two Sundays, the hall was packed. Five professed conversion at the closing meeting on the Sunday night. (C. R. Taylor)


Robert S. Bowen reports from Shetland: “In October, we were greatly helped here by F. Cundick of Luton, who gave a series of addresses to Christians on John’s Gospel. Though the attendances could not be described as large, the interest was keen and the close study of the fourth Gospel was of real, value.

The two-session, New Year’s Day Conference in Lerwick was a season of stimulating and helpful ministry. The speakers directed our attention chiefly to our responsibility in prayer, and indicated from various Scriptures the principles on which God hears and answers our prayers and the means of blessing He uses in bestowing His bounty upon us.

The end of 1952 and the beginning of 1953 have both been periods of gospel activity. J. Merson had a series of gospel meetings in Scalloway in December, and during that time there were four who made their decision for Christ. He subsequently visited the Island of Yell but the bad weather-conditions prevented any sustained gospel effort being made. He visited three districts, however, where a measure of interest in the gospel exists among the people, and had opportunity - publicly and privately - to make known the Way of Salvation. The keenest interest is in North Yell where a Christian family put their house at the disposal of any of our evangelists or preachers for cottage-meetings; a fair-sized company readily gathers when a meeting is announced. The prayers of those interested in the work in Shetland are solicited for North Yell, that true spiritual blessing may come to it.

J. Burns conducted gospel-meetings in Bigton. In this district there are some Christians in fellowship with the assemblies, but at present they only meet for occasional gospel-meetings and really have no corporate witness. We trust that our brother’s work may bring others to the Saviour and that the Lord may direct His people into a fuller enjoyment of their Christian privileges.

J. Moar and G. D. Alexander visited the Sandwick area and had a gospel-meeting each night in the small hall at Hoswick. These brethren came to Shetland direct from fruitful fields; G. Alexander from Ireland where he has seen the Lord’s saving Grace reaching out to many, and J. Moar from the Moray Firth coast and Orkney. In Orkney, six young people were won for Christ. It is sincerely hoped that the Lord will continue His work through His servants and that Sandwick, too, may see much of the Grace of God.”


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