Sep | 19 | Mon | The City of EXETER | Begging For Jesus


  • Ask | For God’s Richest Blessing on JJ. That she would be housed, helped and provided for.
  • Thanks | For a bed last night
  • Implore | For God’s will to be doneSOUTHAMPTON TODAY. For Divine appointments please. and of course for PROVISION


  • TOMORROW’S MESSAGE | is ROOTED IN the book of | JUDGES |

See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE

1st Samuel – 60 Second Overview

I am up around 4:30 and am pounding the Keys until 7:30 when it’s time for Breakfast and I mean the best full English I have has so far. All locally sourced produce with Sausages to die for. I saw the seemingly doddery old gardener last night trudging back across the lawn. Gerry introduces himself to me as this morning he is the waiter. He has an American accent and we chat about the States. He is excited I have been to the States and especially that I have lived in Bardstown and down the road from the monastery of Gethsemane the hub of Thomas Merton’s productivity.

There is a couple from Yorkshire waiting to order and Gerry takes their order. He is distracted and I know he is going to forget it. He asks again. Five minutes later Rosie comes in and confirms the order and says to me that “Gerry is more spiritual and I am more practical.”

I finish my breakfast and am fit to burst.

Returning to my room, I ring Exeter’s Cathedral Dean. He is unavailable. I email his PA and the communications officer. A flurry of communication from the Rev. Victor Robert Farrell finally results in an email back to MR Victor Robert Farrell. I am unlicensed as an ordained priest and so unable to speak inside the Cathedral. Ah. No problems, God has got some other plans for today.

I ring the Chaplaincy of University but the chief chaplain’s answer phone says that he is “not back until June 26th”. It is now late September and I wonder if he has been captured by Somali Pirates and no one knows about it yet?

I email the universities press and communications Officer. I get no reply whatsoever.

I am intending to be in Plymouth tomorrow and making use of this window of time I now have a call with Chris Cole of Cross Rhythms who is based in Plymouth. He is smashing and puts me in contact with Chris Clewe, the head of churches together, who says he will do all he can to help me at such short notice.

It’s time to go.

Leaving the bed and breakfast I settle the bill and the American waiter gardener comes to wave me off. He’s a really nice bloke and being a bloke I tell him that I am a writer for Sorted Magazine and give him a copy.

He says he is a writer as well and shows me his book, ‘The Tudors.’ “It’s selling well” he says “It came out when that ridiculous series about the Tudors was aired and that helped.”
I say “It’s amazing what bums and boobs will sell”
He laughs out load.

I ask myself “Who is this doddery old gardener, this kind waiter who can’t remember the order he has taken and in his spare time researchers and writes?” I find out that this is no other than G. J. Meyer, a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow with an M.A. in English literature from the University of Minnesota, a onetime journalist, and holder of Harvard University’s Neiman Fellowship in Journalism. He has taught at colleges and universities in Des Moines, St. Louis, and New York. His books include A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, Executive Blues, and The Memphis Murders, winner of an Edgar Award for nonfiction from the Mystery Writers of America. Bloomin Nora! Indeed, he is also the former Gilbert Magazine contributing editor and his in-depth book on England’s most infamous royals, The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty is regarded as ‘comprehensive, and to top it all, the American Chesterton Society president Dale Ahlquist calls it “an impressive achievement.” Bugger! I think of the magazine and my 4 pages of Bible Book overviews. I have just given a copper coin to a Gold Merchant


I am on the road to Exeter when all of a sudden you are there. I pass the Battalion HQ of 6 Rifles. I immediately contact the padre. Parking in the Cathedral and Quays car park I ascend the mandatory urine soaked spiral steps to the daylight, cross the bridge and follow the red brown city wall built by the Romans to the Cathedral. I flash my Rev. card and with a smile I get in for free.

There are loads of Tourists and in the back a service for healing attended to by ten old ladies and a bloke. I join in for last 3 minutes. They hope I stay for coffee. I do and tell them what I am about and am immediately invited to some and speak to them then and there insider the Cathedrals Education rooms. Despite being a MR I am in.

I speak to them about Hannah’s Magnificat from 1st Samuel and then I interview them. This healing group are faithful folk, but they have never seen any real healings, but rather see healing as coming to ‘an acceptance’ of their condition and fate. Hmm.

One of the ladies tells me that she has been driving for thirty years with no problems but this last year accumulated 12 points on her licence because of all the cameras which are everywhere and had to spend a £1,000 to go to court to keep it. I am doomed.

Finally arriving in Nero’s, I am called by UCB for a telephone interview which will be aired  tomorrow. Maybe this will pull in more prayer and traction for this project to keep going forward?

I have an Americano and a Ham and Mozzarella Panini. Breakfast was a long time ago. After this it’s back to the car and in one of the alley ways I come across two homeless people with two ‘Bill Sykes’ bulldogs. Tons of homeless people have dogs. I think “If they have dogs they have been at it a long time.” This young man and woman are not selling the Big Issue, they are just begging for change – they look early twenties and tell me that they have been homeless for 13 years and now consider themselves travellers. They are living in a tent and don’t want to go in a B & B because they don’t want to hang around ‘those kind of people.’ I guy comes up to them whilst I am there and says “have you eaten today?” and gives them some hot food which they put in their bag for later. They often come across kind people like this. I try for an interview but although she is up for it, he is not. He wants to keep his face away from any publicity. He says “I’m not being rude mate but could you go away, I am trying to get some money here”

These are professionals.

Grey clouds and raining the message God gave me for today seems inappropriate for the public places of Exeter. It was for the ladies that pray for healing.

I go back to car and top up the meter. Then I pack my bag with magazines.
For my last two hours in Exeter, I am going to become a beggar for Jesus. It looks dead easy.

On the way back to my pitch, which I spied out earlier, I collect some mud and put it in my pocket and once I get on the corner outside the consecrated but no longer used as a church of St Martin’s, I rub the mud on my face and the backs of my hands and underneath my finger nails and then, spreading my prayer shawl a friend got me from Benny Hinn (it’s a long story) I sit down next to the ‘Jesus loves me’ picture and put down on the ground my own sign tight next to my upturned hat which says “Beggar for Jesus”

I stay silent for 30 minutes. It’s a miracle.

Not one person stops, talks, or donates to my hat.
I need a couple of baby bull dogs.
“Mate you got £1.36? I need to get to Bristol” says the drug induced anorexic
I’m begging for Jesus and he’s asking me for money! I am obviously not fooling the real homeless! I say “no mate come and sit down” but he’s not up for it and gets a bit shirty with me
“Look have you got any change or not ?”
“No mate I don’t” He strides away rather nifty shaking his head
“Well I am gonna have to ‘beg it up’ from someone, I need to get to Bristol!”
I continue ‘beggin it up’ but no one is interested.

All of a sudden a community police officer comes around the corner
“You can’t beg here mate, begging is illegal. What are you doing? Trying to get some money for yourself?”
“No I’m begging for Jesus”
“Yes but you’re going to keep the money for yourself?”
“No, I’m gonna give it away to the homeless”
I explain who I am and in intricate detail what I am doing and why.

He says “as long as you remove the word begging from my sign you can stay as long as you like.” He is very professional and very understanding and very helpful.

30 minutes later John comes over to me and chats. He is a Christian, and often tries to speak to the homeless. When he is in Exeter, this is where he comes to pray, the abandoned church of St Martin’s. He goes in though the door on my left.

It’s been 90 minutes of begging and I have not gathered a penny. I remember putting aftershave on this morning. Maybe I just smell to good? I smell my pits. No. That’s not the problem.  I get up and go and meet John who is praying in the consecrated but unused church. There are over 300 churches in this condition in the UK all costing over 1.5 million a year to maintain. Going into St Martins is like visiting an important corpse now laid out in State. The church is a quaint treasure box full of dead memories.

The 6th Rifle Brigade padre rings back and says “No” he cannot sort me out today.
I interview John and it’s time for me to go. Plymouth calleth.

I still have no accommodation and so, on the way I pull over to a camp site. They want £10 for me to use the ground to put my tent on. I say no – If I can get a room for £30 with Wi-Fi and keep out of the rain, I will look for that.

I am back on the road to Plymouth and text Chris Clewe of Churches Together in Plymouth to see if he has had any joy in hooking me up with a venue tomorrow?
Meanwhile I call the Plymouth Travel lodge. They want £125 for tonight. They must think I am a stuffed toy!

I arrive in Plymouth. The last time I was here, was some 33 years ago.

I Pull over to the side of the road to pray and think about what to do and where to go. My iPad Skype APP says that I have been contacted by SD of Boston, USA.

SD wants to pay for a room and a Curry. Praise God. Imagine that. I am on the side of the road chatting to a guy in Boston USA who out of the blue wants to prosper my journey right now. It’s amazing. SD transfers the money to my Pay Pal account and I am good to go hunting for a room with Wi-Fi

Unfortunately Plymouth is like Bethlehem. There is no room at the inn. I drive around for over an hour. It’s the same story everywhere, the Americas Cup and University Graduation ( There are 30,000 students in Plymouth that’s 1 in 10 of the population) means there are no rooms. Premier Inn tells me that their nearest vacancy is 50 miles away. I decide to sleep in the car.

In ten minutes I get a return text from Chris Clewe. They have arranged accommodation for tomorrow night and I will be preaching on the Steps of the Barbican where the Pilgrims left for America ten years after the printing of the King James Bible….oooh, and “did I need any accommodation for tonight?”

By 9:45 I am speaking with Peter and Gilly over a hot cup of tea, Peter is an elder at the church and Gilly is a member of the national Christian Dance organisation.
They give me a snugly bed for free.
I ring Bridget
I am knackered
I go to sleep

If You Want to see The First Twelve of Our 66 Minute Video Bible Check Here | P.S. We need some more funding ti finish this project before Christmas so if you are up for it give me a call on 07975 805 323

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About vrfarrell

Biblical activist
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