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The Memoir of John

I wrote The Memoir of John on toilet paper during the time I was an electrical engineering student apprentice with the English Electric Company in Preston. The reason for starting it appears to be that I sometimes found myself with very little else to do at work. There is an entry in my diary for Tuesday 5 August 1969, which reads as follows:

Morn[ing and] aft[ernoon]: Did NOTHING.
And Thursday 14 August 1969:
[I] took 2¼ hours off in [the] toilets.
The actual writing began on Tuesday 12 August 1969:
Work… [I] talked to Ossy about [the] H[oly] Sp[irit], after he had read what I’d written on a piece of toilet paper when I went to the toilet. This was in [the] Field Coils Shop. He’s a bit doubtful about the Baptism [in the Holy Spirit].
And there is an entry for Tuesday 23 September 1969:
Work. A lot of time wasted through the inspector I was with taking time off. I went to [the] loo and wrote “memoirs”.
The pieces of toilet paper were originally glued together into a long scroll, but in June or July 1975 I cut them up and stuck them on sheets of paper, book-style.

A note attached to “The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious” refers to The Memoir of John as “Scroll 1”, when it mentions “Fragment 5 of Scroll 1”. [Scroll up from this link to see the note.] I attempt to identify Fragment 1, Fragment 2, Fragment 3, Fragment 4 and Fragment 5, below.

I revised The Memoir of John (as the first part of “The Johannine Writings”) in 1980; the chapter-and-verse references in red within the text are those adopted for “Johannine Writings”.

[1]Written Tuesday 12th August


I.1.When Stanley Smith was
pastor of the Full Gospel Church,
it was decided that we should
have a special meeting, convened

When Stanley
Smith was

He was
minister of
the Full Gospel
Church in
and to the
great sorrow
of the
church died
suddenly &
in February
1969 at the
age of 57.
events related
here took
place in


that those wishing to be “baptised
with the Holy Spirit could pray.
2.And it was a few weeks before
the Day of Pentecost.
3.Several people were gathered, and


we began to kneel and pray for
God’s blessing.
4.I prayed in
my heart and in whispers, for
I was afraid to do otherwise.
5.Then someone put their his hands


on my shoulders, and immediately
I felt power emanating from
the places where his hands
touched my shoulders.
6.It was
like heat flowing from those


places and filling my whole
body; it was like “pins and
needles”, and they flowed and filled
me from head to toe, so much so
that I could feel the feeling in


my teeth.
7.And I was moved by this Spirit
to praise the Lord. With every
breath, I voiced praises to God.
8.I was being driven to do so, and


yet, I suppose I could have stifled
it, had I wanted to.

9.This experience was new to me;

I *———————————* had been
told very little about it.

*—* The text
originally read
“was uninitiated
and”, which may
be misleading.


Consequently, I did notunderstand
what it is that had been happening
to me.

II.1.Let me turn my mind back
to the first month of that year.

January 1965


2.My friend Christopher suffered
from epileptic fits. 3.A few days


Any of several different types of
recurrent attack produced by disor-
ganised electrical activity in the
brain. The condition may be in-
herited or occur as a result of brain
damage following an injury—either
at birth or in later life. An epileptic
“fit” starts when the sufferer has an
“aura” of being dissociated from her
immediate environment. There is
then shaking of the limbs on one side
of the body, followed by spasms of
all the muscles, with the head being
thrown back and the eyes staring
unseeingly upwards. This un-
controlled jerking leads to uncon-
sciousness for one or two minutes,
during which the body may continue
to jerk spasmodically and there may
also be a loss of control of the
 Treatment for epilepsy is by
means of anticonvulsant drugs
which suppress the fits. These have
to be taken for a continuous period of
time until there have been no fits for
at least three to five years. Then the
amount of medication taken can
gradually be reduced.

previously I had seen him:
suddenly, he collapsed on the floor
and lay still. Then he started


to twitch; his arms and legs
began to beat frantically on the
floor; his teeth ground together
and he growled. 4.After some time
he lay still again, then he started


shaking again. 5.Later he gained
consciousness again, a bit shaken
and worn out, not remembering
what had just happened, and none
the worse. 6.Then why were these


fits considered dangerous if he
felt none the worse? 7.Because
one time he had fallen into a
boating lake and nearly drowned;
another time he had pulled a


pan of water on to him; one
time he had fallen down stairs.
8.These fits endangered his life.

Not to mention the
prejudice of folk against
epileptics, and the threat
to their livelihood that
they suffer.

Wednesday Evening, 13th January 1965

III.1.And now we were on our way
to the great city of Manchester


on a train. 2.For we had seen a
film on television a few weeks
before, from Manchester, where
they were saying that Jesus was
alive, and that if people would


believe in him, then their sicknesses
would be cured, like Jesus cured
3.And while we had been

*When he
was on earth in
the flesh.

walking from our home town

(2.1.70) or from Cleveleys to Thornton

Thornton, to Cleveleys,/\I had said,

passing King Georges
playing fields.


“Why do you not go to this place?”
4.Then, the next day, he had come
round to our house, saying, “We must
go tonight.
5.For I have had a dream,”
he said untruthfully, “where my

“The next day”
is not correct.
Read “a few
days later”


deceased grandmother appeared
to me, telling me to go there.”

And I had wondered anxiously whether
I should go, but I had been won
over by his strong persuasions, and in


addition, my friend Peter, who was
there, had agreed to go along.

7.And the train got to Bolton, and
we took a bus into Manchester.
8.And we did not know where to go,


because we were alone in a strange
9.Then Christopher suggested that
we should go to the Granada studios,
for Granada had screened the television
programme. And we agreed.


10.But it was only a night watchman
who was there, and he did not
have access to the files, and he
could not tell us where this church,
“Sharon”, was.
11.So we walked away,


feeling sad. 12.But we did not have
anywhere to stay, so we
went back to the watchman and
asked him if he knew where we
could stay the night.

[2]Written Wednesday 13th August


13.The watchman suggested that we
might try the YMCA, “which,” he said,
“is 100 yards down the road.”
we decided to take his advice; we
walked about 100 yards down the road,


but could not see it. 15.We walked
further, and much further along
we saw it.
16.But to our disappoint-
ment it was closed; there was not
a light to be seen in the building.


17.And it was after midnight, so
how could we hope to find some
where to stay?

18.As we stood there on the street
corner, a man appeared, walking


quickly. 19.As he passed by, we asked
him if he knew of any hotels
where we might stay. And thinking
for a moment, he said, “You can
come to our flat.”


20.Now we did not know what
sort of a man he was, but
we decided that we would take
a chance, and so we went with
21.At the flat, after having


walked what seemed like miles
into Salford, at the flat there

was a woman, called Grace,
also another man.
22.And Tom,
the first man, whom we had


met on the street corner, had
Grace make us some supper.
23.Then we retired to bed; we slept
under blankets on the floor,
and they all three slept in a


bed in the same room.

Thursday 14th January 1965
IV.1.In the morning we set out from
there, going, via the studios
where we found out the address
of the church, to a Post Office,


2.where we sent a brief telephone
message to my neighbours, very
confused, for I was not used
to telephones at that time; and
also letters home.
3.For we

We sent letters
home from
Bolton, not
from here.


maintained that we had not run
away from home, but had come
with a purpose.

Wednesday 13th January 1965
4.We had left home without telling
our parents that we were going,


although we had left notes. 5.But
Christopher’s note made his
parents worry, for it said how
he was “going to end these fits
once and for all.”
6.And it


rained exceedingly heavily
that night, so much so that
my mother nearly would not
let me go out that night —
I said I was going to Chris-


topher’s house — but finally
she relented and I went
7.What a sight we looked!
dripping wet and scruffy. I


wore an ancient raincoat that
reached almost if not quite
down to my ankles.

Thursday 14th January 1965
8.Then in the afternoon we
did what the man at the studios


told us: “Take the 81 bus
from Albert Square.”
9.And we did, and behold,
“Sharon, Full Gospel Church.”
10.To our dismay, however, it was


closed; we had thought it would
have been open all the time, but
it was closed.

[3]Written Monday 18th August

11.So we were exceedingly dis-
appointed. 12.But then Christopher


noticed a sign in the church
yard; it was a notice giving the
address of the Pastors. 13.We read the
notice, which gave a telephone
number, and quickly rang the


Pastor’s number. 14.Pastor Williams’
wife answered the telephone; upon
our explaining the situation
she said that usually they did
not have prayer for the sick


midweek, but seeing we had come
a long way, she said that
Pastor Williams would see us at
half-past four, which was in an

would see us
for half an
hour at half
past four.


15.How long, how eternal that
hour seemed! As we wandered
through the slums of Moss Side,
we wondered if it would ever pass.[4]

16.However, soon it was time, and


we were at the Pastors’ house,
standing outside the door.
who should knock? We were
very frightened, and did not dare
18.For we thought that the


Pastor was psychic, for on the
television programme he had dis-
cerned what diseases people had.
19.However, a man arrived at the
house, and after we had


explained who we were, he invited
us in.
20.There the Pastor met us, in
a front room, and there we told
him how we had come from
Blackpool without our parents’

No, he didn’t: he went
round the back,
suggesting that we ring the
front doorbell


knowing it, and we told him
about Christopher, how he had
21.Then the Pastor bade Peter and me
kneel on the floor and pray for


Chris; he stood with Christopher
in front of us.
22.He then laid his
hand upon Christopher’s forehead,
and commanded the epilepsy to
leave him “in the name of Jesus”.


23.Immediately, Christopher fell to
the floor, as if struck down by
the power of God.
24.And we thought
he was dead or that there was
something wrong with him.


Pastor Williams took him by the hand
and raised him up, and asked him
how he felt.
26.And Christopher said
that he felt easier.
27.And Pastor
Williams told Christopher not to say


that he himself had cured him,
but to say, “With his stripes”, that
is, those of Jesus, “I am healed.”
28.Then he took us up stairs, and
his wife prepared us some tea,



and we ate gladly. 29.Pastor Williams
explained the work of “Sharon” in towns
all over the country where people had
been healed by the power of the

Barnsley (bite lip so as not)
(involuntary smile)

Substitute the following
Pastor Williams told
us that since the showing
of the film on television
the church had had
visits from people from
all over the north of
England. He said,
“We’ve had people from
Leeds, Wakefield,
Any moment now, I
thought, he’s going to
say, “Barnsley.”
“…Doncaster, Barnsley…”
At his mention of
Barnsley, I had
to bite my lip because
I couldn’t help smiling.
      — 1980.
Chris’s form master
H Ellis Tomlinson or
“Toss” as he was called
by them, was known to
lampoon Barnsley.
He said things like
“The palm-fringed
beaches of sunny
Barnsley.” Barnsley
thus became a trigger
to great mirth between
Chris and me.


30.Going from that place we were
thrilled and happy and overjoyed,
and leapt for joy and ran in
our rejoicing.
31.For we no longer
“believed”, as we said; we now


“knew”: we knew that God
was real, that he had healed
32.Yes, we knew. How
happy the revelation, for that
[is what] it

[5]Written after the above


33.After this, we decided to
return to Tom’s flat.
and those with him were Irish.

In the evening, we went
for a walk round
Manchester. Chris remembers
“lighting up” in
Marks and Spencer’s

Friday 15th January 1965
V.1.Then in the morning we
set out, thumbing lifts.


lorry took us so far; a van
took us further.
3.Then seeing
a 180 bus, we decided to get
it, and this took us home to


4.So we were home. 5.The first
task was to inform our parents.
6.Mrs Gooding, Peter’s mother,
received us well, as did
Christopher’s and mine.


while at Christopher’s house,
his father, whom we
nicknamed Fido, came in.
8.“Do you want to see him?” his
mother asked. “I don’t


know!” was the reply; he was
9.Then after this we went to
the Police Station, where we
were ushered upstairs into


the presence of the inspector.
10.“Don’t smile,” warned a young
constable as we were on our
way up.
11.In the room was the


inspector, who said, “Mr and
Mrs Gooding, you may sit here” —
(for they had brought us here)
— “but as for you three, you
can stand.


12.“Now which one of you is
Woodhead? Are you Woodhead?”
“No,” I said.
“Are you?”


13.“Then you are Woodhead” —
(which was Christopher’s surname)
14.— “Now, Woodhead, I’m getting
sick and tired of you. This is
the third time this year that


you’ve run away from home. 15.Do
you realise that I could put you
away for being in need of care and
16.Then he tried to prove that


Christopher had persuaded us to
run away, and that this was
our only motive in going.
we explained that we had gone
in order to get Chris cured,


he would have none of this. 18.Peter
was quite strong in his defence of
19.He made us turn out our
pockets in order to prove that we


had spent more than necessary, and
so show that our motive in leaving
home was just to run away.
20.Again Peter defied him; he had
left his money at home.

Friday 15th January 1965


21.After this, at home, I wept
because no-one would understand
our motives.
22.Also, I was
convinced that God was real and
that he had healed Chris, but


no-one would understand this.[6]

VI.1.Two weeks or so after the prayer
meeting where I had first known
the feeling of the power of God,
Christopher and I went down to


Sharon for some meetings. 2.And
at that time we were courting
Pastor Williams’ daughters.
one meeting, on the Day of Pentecost,
the Pastor asked all those who


wanted to be filled with the Holy
Spirit to go into a room at
the back.
4.So Christopher and I
5.The Pastor laid his hands
upon me, and I spoke in


another tongue, although I do
not recall feeling like I did the
first time someone put their hands
upon me.

[7]Written Tuesday 23rd September

VII.1.Thanks be to God for


the unspeakable gift of his

2.I John have written of
how my friend was healed of
epileptic fits by the Lord, and


how the Lord graciously filled
me with the Holy Spirit.

3.I, Peter and Chris started
going to the Full Gospel Church
in Fleetwood.
4.We heard


of it through a letter sent to us
from Pastor Williams of Sharon.
He gave us three addresses, two
of which he had crossed out;
the remaining one was Fleetwood.


5.We arrived then that Sunday
6.Pastor Stanley Smith took
that meeting, after Barry Hill had
led the choruses, many of which
we did not know.


there was a coffee rendezvous,
where there were tables set up, and
where unconverted young people
were invited to sit and talk.
8.A big, muscular man, Richard


English, and another, came and
sat with us and asked us if we
knew Jesus Christ.
9.This worried me,
as did the appeal that Pastor Smith

had given for people to come and accept


Jesus Christ as their Saviour: did
I in fact know Jesus Christ as
my Saviour?
10.Peter, however, told him that we
did, and they accepted us as Christians.


11.Did I in fact know Christ as
my Saviour at this time?
12.When Chris was healed, Peter
and I had, at the order of Pastor
Williams, been kneeling. I had prayed,


“God heal Chris”; and when Chris
had been prayed for, I suddenly
had the realisation that God was
indeed real; in my own words,
“We don’t believe any more — we


know!” 13.I think that was the
time when I was born again,
because that is what it felt like:
everything seemed new and different.
14.However, appeals by Pastors at


Sharon and Fleetwood worried me,
and my heart beat, and the
worried feeling raged in my stomach.
15.I remember saying to God at
home concerning commitment to


Christ, “Not now — later, when
I’m older.”

(Note: Find out all dates of events
and date manuscripts.
I have no doubt that I must,
sometime around then, have made my
calling and election sure by calling on
the name of the Lord.

VIII.1.Some time later, after I had been
filled with the Holy Spirit, I went to
my first prayer meeting. I


was sitting and bowed down. 2.Then
I sat back.
3.Suddenly, the feeling
that I had had when someone
had placed their hands on my
shoulders came again, and filled


my whole body, and I also shook.
How glorious was that experience!

4.Then when I was at Scarborough
camp, in one of the meetings, the
speaker called for those who wanted


to dedicate their lives completely to
the Lord to stand on their feet.
5.This I did, and such a mighty
anointing of the Holy Spirit came
upon me that I helplessly fell


back into my seat again with tears
of great joy and laughter.

6.At that time my joy in the Lord
was so great — I was so ab-
solutely glad he had saved me —


that I sometimes just did not know what
to do with myself or where to put
myself; it was so frustrating not
to be able to find expression for the
joy that I had!


IX.1.After these things, Pastor Smith
came up to us (three, I think), and
asked us if we had been baptised
if we would be baptised.
2.We discussed
about this, and so agreed.


3.At this time my parents had
started coming to the church.
mother, concerned and a little alarmed
that I had gotten so involved (after
being filled with the Holy Spirit) had


decided to go to a Sunday morning
service, to which I had not gone that
5.Soon afterwards in the
Sunday evening meeting she had
got saved; and my father, later,


having been to a number of Sunday
evening services, also received Christ.

(Find out the date when
Trevor was converted. Also
when he was filled with
the Holy Spirit)

(Find out when Mum and
Dad were converted

Poss. the date of my baptism)

6.So I was baptised. Before baptism
I bore testimony: “I thank the Lord
for saving my soul; after all, look


what he’s saved me from!”
Then I was immersed in the w[ater.][9]

8.([Pa]stor Cartwright,
([…]ther baptised that night.)

[1] This marks the beginning of “Scroll 1, fragment 1”.

[2] This marks the beginning of “Scroll 1, fragment 2”.

[3] This marks the beginning of “Scroll 1, fragment 3”.

[4] At this point two pieces of the toilet paper Ms. are glued together. The sameness of the ink and the of handwriting on both pieces, and the lack of dating on the second, suggest that they were written on the same occasion.

[5] This marks the beginning of “Scroll 1, fragment 4” (assuming that the break footnoted at line 204 is not where “fragment 4” starts).

[6] Between lines 330 and 331 two pieces of the toilet paper Ms. are glued together. The sameness of the ink and of the handwriting on both pieces, the fact that the shapes of the torn edges of both of them exactly match, and the lack of dating on the second piece, are ample evidence that they are part of the same fragment and were simply truncated to fit on one page when I cut them up and stuck them on sheets of paper.

[7] This marks the beginning of “Scroll 1, fragment 5” (assuming that the break footnoted at line 204 is not where “fragment 4” starts,  and that the argument footnoted at line 330 is sound).

[8] At this point two pieces of the toilet paper Ms. are glued together. The sameness of the ink and the of handwriting on both pieces, and the lack of dating on the second, are evidence that they were written on the same occasion. A note attached to “The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious” mentions an “excised piece, cut from fragment 5 of scroll 1”. [Scroll up from this link to see the note.] The excision probably occurred at this point. The missing text, as copied in “The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious”, is given below. I have made one change from memory [bracketed] to restore the text. The copy in “The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious”, however, omitted additional lines, written to introduce Hebrew-style parallelism into the text; these additions are now lost, and I am not able to attempt a restoration.
Ah most Noble Strength!
I have lost my heart to you, my sister.
How will there ever be any one who will compare to you?
And what wonderful times we had together!
And how you said that you wanted only me!
But now I am left with only memories.
And how may I forget you, my sweet one?
When you have gotten so deep into my heart?
What tears, what grief, what despair I have known since you left me!
How much I have cried, how much I have longed, and yearned for you!
How can I give you up, [O Strength, and Nobility]?
For although you go with someone else,
my heart still thinks I am the one you go with,
and it has never given you up!
O the yearning!
So much so that I can no longer bear it.
Yet I must!
[9] Water: The Ms. has been carelessly trimmed at the bottom, and most of the word water has been cut off.

Pastor Cartwright… that night: This is written upwards at the left margin of the Ms. The paper has been trimmed at the bottom; consequently the first syllable of each of the two lines has been lost.

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