John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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The Knott End campaign

1965, the year that changed my life
T. L. Osborn
 1. Knott End is a large village that lies at the corner of the River Wyre estuary and Morecambe Bay, on the opposite side of the Wyre from Fleetwood. I am not sure whether towards the end of 1965 there was the remnant of a Pentecostal congregation there, or whether it was now defunct and the little church building unused. At any rate, two or three elderly people from there used to attend the Sunday evening meetings at Fleetwood Full Gospel Church. One of them was a jolly, bald little chap, called Mr. Dobson, who had recently married a Christian lady, a widow, who lived in Knott End.

 2. It was decided at church — and I have the impression that Mr. Dobson had not a little to do with it — that we should organise an evangelistic “campaign” in Knott End, to try to re-establish the church there. The local cinema was hired for a week; and we had an obvious choice of preacher in John Nelson Parr. Not only was he a red-hot, hellfire-and-brimstone preacher of the gospel, he was also conveniently available, having recently returned from similar ministry abroad, and with no other commitments since his retirement from the pastorate of Bethshan Tabernacle, Longsight, Manchester.

"John Nelson Parr" — ca.1970
 3. The church at Fleetwood organised the publicity for the meetings; all over Knott End leaflets were pushed through letter boxes from door to door. Quite a lot of the young people from the church went across on the ferry on a number of afternoons to do the leafleting; and one or two of the older ones went as well, including Mrs. Wood, Audrey’s Mum.

"…Including Mrs. Wood, Audrey's Mum" — ca.1967



The Knott End ferry — Fleetwood side
 At the end of each session we would gather together at the Dobsons’ house for prayer, before catching a return ferry to Fleetwood — though Mr. Dobson seemed to be too busy making cups of tea and playing the congenial host actually to take part in the praying.



The Knott End ferry — the slipway at the Knott End side
 4. On one of the return ferry trips, sitting opposite Audrey as the chilly autumn wind whipped up her now-short hair, I started making conversation with her, as a sweet yearning for her developed within me.

"Audrey" — 1966
 I went round to the Woods’ house once or twice after arriving at Fleetwood from Knott End, probably with other young people from the church.

 5. The handful of Knott End believers held meetings in their homes to pray for the campaign. It seemed that Mr. Dobson was always telephoning Stanley Smith about prayer meetings.
 “And I had Mr. Dobson on the phone again this afternoon, telling me how great the prayer meeting was going in his house,” said Pastor, during one Tuesday-evening Bible Study meeting at the church in Lowther Road.

Pastor Stanley Smith — 1969
 When Mr. Dobson had rung Stanley, enthusing about the prayer meeting, he obviously wasn’t in it at the time — he’d nipped out to the phone box!

We are baptised


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