John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Saturday 21st May 1966


The 43rd General Conference of Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland was held at Butlin’s holiday camp, Clacton, from Saturday 14th May to Saturday 21st May 1966.

I remember there being at least two coaches taking us back on Saturday 21st May, and that the man organising the details of who went in which coach was ageing Pastor Holland of Lytham Assembly of God. For although Chris had not been with us on the outward journey, there was sufficient room for him to travel in our coach on the way back; but Holland wouldn’t have it: he insisted that Chris go in the other coach. My Dad joined in the argument, for no-one was being inconvenienced by Chris’s being on our coach, and voices got slightly raised; but pigheaded Holland would not budge from his previously-laid plan, and Chris was dismissed from our coach and sent to the other one. He recalls:
On the return journey, I assumed that I would be able to travel on your bus, but Pastor Holland intervened and scuppered that (“I want that lad off this bus!!”). He then put me on a bus which would take me as far as Preston. I sat next to a missionary lady called Amy Entwistle who was going to Blackburn, so I don’t know whether the bus was continuing to Blackburn, but I got off at Preston and rejoined the rest of you there.
I had forgotten that Chris came aboard our coach later on, but now that he mentioned it I had the impression that there was applause as he came up the aisle. He replied:
Until I read the entry for 21st May 1966, I had forgotten that it was your Dad who spoke up and took a stand against Pastor Holland’s stubbornness. Now I remember it quite clearly: hence Holland’s parting shot, “I want that lad off this bus!!” Yes, I also remember that when I finally joined the Fleetwood coach at Preston, I was greeted by a round of applause!
That must have galled Pastor Holland! (I assume that he was aboard, and that on its way to Fleetwood, to take home the members of Fleetwood Full Gospel Church who lived there, the coach went through Lytham. It obviously also went through Thornton, where we lived.)

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