John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Sunday 23rd January 1966

1966



At the top of the page for 23–26 January there is a note—

CHEM
—presumably some sort of revision-plan prior to the exams. In the NOTES section is this note:

Pay Mrs. Smith for badge.
The diary-entry proper for today is as follows:

Booked for Butlins.
Fantastic blessing in Communion
meeting. Message and inter-
pretation. God blessed us! Great.
Pastor gave good message in both.
Jim’s Bible do. Tea at Aud’s.
Sang in “Crusaders” at G. Service.
Booked for Butlins.
“The Pentecostal Festival of the year!”—so announced the blurb on the leaflet pack for the 43rd General Conference of Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland. What started out as an annual conference of Assemblies of God ministers had by now grown into a festival of both general meetings where thousands of people gathered to praise and worship God, and ones catering for special interests (e.g. radio ministry, Sunday School teaching), attended by anyone who cared to. There were still, to be sure, private meetings for ministers, where doctrinal, policy and business decisions were made. Each year the conference had a chosen theme, and in 1966 this was “God working with them” (Mark 16:20). The 43rd conference was held at Butlin’s holiday camp, Clacton, from Saturday 14th May to Saturday 21st May 1966, and coaches were organised by the local Assemblies. Some time before Sunday 23rd January 1966, I started to write the following in the NOTES section towards the back of the diary:

Conference — Clacton
Cost — Coach £2/5/-
Dates — 14 May–21 May
Transport arrangements
Prob. coach. (Definite)

People probably going
John Me, Aud, R. Miller, Myra
Peter Gooding Bonita
Pastor & Mrs. Smith (Booked)
Kay and Maurice.Mr. Rouse.
Mum and Dad. Chris Woodhead
See about booking Ken Wood
arrangements
Booked

[An arrow from Mr. Rouse points down to—]
Didn’t go!!! Ill!
The original list of people probably going consisted of just John (deleted) me (substituted) and Audrey; then were added Robert Miller and Myra (suggesting that they were still going out together at this time; precisely when they split up I can’t remember); after that Peter Gooding; then later Bonita Burling (Gerald Burling’s sister), and Pastor and Mrs. Smith (who were definitely going because they had booked); then Kay and Maurice (Katherine Elizabeth Thompson and Maurice Dowsing, an engaged couple, who, as Kay repeatedly reminded everyone almost ad nauseam when she got up to speak in Saturday-evening Testimony meetings, were to marry in May that year—“Now as you know, we’re getting married in May…” Inward groans, followed later by my quip to Audrey and her parents,
“Maurice and Kay,
married in May!”)
and Mr. Rouse (who, as it turned out, didn’t go because he was ill); then later still Chris Woodhead and Ken Wood (Audrey’s older brother).

Initially, it was doubtful whether Chris would be going, because he couldn’t afford it; then someone suggested that he pray for the money to go, which he did; and on Good Friday he was able to write to me, to say that his booking had been confirmed, and requesting that I give him Peter’s and my receipt reference number so that he could arrange to be in the same chalet as we were. On Friday 15th April 1966 he sent me a postcard saying that he had sent the number off.


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