John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Chris’s reaction to the programme “Sharon”

Early Days1965, the year that changed my life
Chris and I watch “Sharon” on TV

Chris wrote in 1967: "The next day at school I made fun of the programme with other lads who had seen it, and laughed at the choruses which had been sung, although I did this, when I was by myself, the chorus, “Only believe, all things are possible,” preyed on my mind. I thank God for this, because it made me think very seriously. My friend felt the same way as I did, and we talked about going and finding this church one day, probably one weekend when we were off school."

Thursday 10th December 1964
 1. The next day, at school, there was a bit of discussion about the programme Sharon between Chris and some other lads who had seen it.
 “Spooky, weren’t it?”
[1] said one.”
 “He were
[1] pushing them down,” said another.
 “You could see it,” agreed another.
 Although Chris took part in this, and made fun of the singing, when he was by himself the chorus “Only believe, all things are possible” kept coming to mind. Up to this point, he had not really cared about God, and would even get annoyed with himself if he found himself thinking about God. He tried to convince himself that there was no God; or even if there was, he shut out all thoughts about him — unless there was something that he needed, then he might pray. He dreaded the idea of going to church on a Sunday; and when I went with him once, I must say I didn’t blame him for his aversion: it was so execrably boring. But his parents were members of Wignall Memorial Methodist Church, so it is not surprising that they wished their son to go too.

"Wignall Memorial Methodist Church" in 1979.
("It was so execrably boring" — I hear favourable reports of Wignall nowadays.)
 (In fact, Sundays in general were hard for us to bear; there was even less to do in Thornton on a Sunday than there was usually — and an additional burden for Chris was that his Mum made him wear clothes she had bought for him, which she considered smart, but which we considered to be a touch garish and certainly unfashionable.)
[1] Weren’t it?… He were… — a substandard use of “were” as spoken in Lancashire.
Perhaps Thursday 10th December 1964, perhaps shortly afterwards
 2. I discussed the programme with Chris when I saw him next. We talked seriously about it; we didn’t laugh about it. I told Chris about my experience on the walk home, when I felt no fear walking through the alleys.
According to Chris, at some time “we talked about going and finding this church one day, probably one weekend when we were off school.” The only example of such a conversation which I can remember, though, is in the story Chris has another fit.
Chris has a fit

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