John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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My Mum makes a decision for Christ

1965, the year that changed my life
Pamela’s fifth letter

 1. My Mum decided that she would go along to the church. It was only because I kept on and on at her, “preaching” to her and asking her to go, that she thought, “Well, I will go one Sunday morning.” I had in mind for her to go to the evening meeting, to the “gospel service”. That was the meeting which people with no particular commitment to Christ were invited to, so that they would hear about their need of salvation and get committed to Christ. But my Mum decided to go on a Sunday morning. She didn’t want to go on a Sunday evening because she might miss something good on television.

 2. She went one Sunday morning when I wasn’t there. She got off the bus at the nearest stop to Lowther Road, Fleetwood, and she said to a woman who got off at the same time, “I’m looking for a little church called the Full Gospel Church.”
 And the woman replied, “Well, I’m going there. I’ll take you.”
 So my Mum went with her into the first building on the left in Lowther Road, and sat next to her in the meeting. The woman was Ruby Bidle, the mother of David Bidle who played the guitar on Sunday evenings.

 3. Then my Mum started going to the church on Sunday evenings with Elsie Gooding, Peter’s Mum.

Sunday evening, 13th June 1965
 4. There was a lady in the church called Elsie Wrigglesworth, who had recently returned to Fleetwood after working for many years as a missionary in India.

Elsie Wrigglesworth, holding a map of Africa. She spent more than 30 years in India and after her return spent only three years back home before taking up a new post as governess to the children of the Royal Family in Ethiopia.
 One Sunday evening, not long after my Mum’s first visit to the church, Pastor Stanley — Stanley Smith — was preaching, and he commented on what he considered to be the unfairness of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. “There are people like Elsie Wrigglesworth,” he said, “who has spent her life serving the Lord as a missionary in India — and the Beatles have got their MBE!” This was the day after it was announced that the rock group The Beatles were to be made Members of the Order of the British Empire, so it was Sunday 13th June 1965.
 My Mum was really annoyed at him, standing up there and expressing his opinion about the Beatles; she was ever so cross.

 5. He proceeded to make his end-of-sermon appeal, and Elsie Gooding raised her hand. She went into the vestry, the small room situated at the forward part of the church to the right, where somebody counselled her.

 6. It was in bed that night, that my Mum got over her anger and made her own decision to accept Christ as her Saviour. And when she got up the next morning, she found that she didn’t want to smoke. She used to smoke cigarettes, but never smoked again after that.
[1] She… never smoked again after that — apart from the odd whiff of my cigar in later years when I smoked them.
Pamela’s sixth letter

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