Sep | 20 | Tue | The City of PLYMOUTH | A Wayward & Wanton Woman from the West Country

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2nd Samuel – 60 Second Overview

I am up at 4:30 and typing away. Peter says we need to be leaving for breakfast around 8:30 and are meeting up with the head of Churches Together in Plymouth, a Mr Chris Clewe the lovely chap that has sorted out my accommodation and networked me in Plymouth. It was of course Mark M who put me in contact with Chris Cole of Cross Rhythms based in Plymouth who in turn put me in contact with Chris Clewe. Connections you see. it’s who God hooks you up with.

We go to the local Weatherspoons. It is closed for refurbishment. They should all close for refurbishment.

We go to two other places including a Travel lodge, which does breakfast in a bag. £125!

God is up to something. Or Plymouth is a mental mess.

We end up somewhere across town and Chris Joins us. We chat for about a couple of hours. It turns out that Chris was probably a young 19 year old worker at the Royal Sailors Rest when the Aggies van came and picked a few of us up from HMS Raleigh to come and play five a side. Amazing! I had forgotten all about that. What a connection from all those years ago. I wondered who and what simple prayer had been offered up for me that day in September 1977?
Linzi is the waitress who serves us. She is a graduate of Plymouth University with a Degree in Marine Oceanography. She is working as a waitress since leaving Uni. “What happened” says I
“Of you leave Uni and reality sets in.”

I am sad. She is not alone you see , and the university machinery will churn out many more like her, highly qualified people whose dreams have hit a recessional reality. How many graduates will end up in debt and on the dole with their dreams dashed in the near future? Linzi is great, she is doing what needs to be done, but you know, she needs some real encouragement to kick start her desires again. She wants to know how three old farts can sit around being animated and laughing for a couple of hours. We tell her what we do, tell her about 66 cities and when she goes we pray for her. A simple prayer in September 2011. We are her current connection in the chain of God’s contrivance. We finish and leave. Three minutes later Linzi is running after me with my jacket and camera, which I have left behind. Plonka! I get a chance to thank here, hug her, bless her and tell her again that we will pray for her.

Chris takes me back to a run down URC church called The Pilgrim church and into the office of the churches together (manned but one day per week – TODAY!) To meet his two illustrious sidekicks, Joanna and Sandra, two amazing women. Their office is called the Mayflower room. I tell them I researched this morning regarding the message I will proclaim somewhere today that the Mayflower’s Plymouth to US journey put her to sea for… guessed it…..66 days. WHAT!

I interview, Sandra, Jo and Chris.

And then Chris takes me along to Cross Rhythms for a radio interview. It goes well and I also interview Ian the man with many hats and the man in charge, Mr Chris Cole, who has a very bad and persistent cough, which I recovered from last year by using monstrous doses of Cod liver oil. The cough went but the flatulence was bad and I so I lost what few friends I had left. This has deterred Chris Cole from following my quackery. He needs to watch Blazing Saddles.

I drop off some sorted magazines at a church in Preparation for a men’s ministry event and then Chris takes me down to the Mayflower steps on Plymouth Hoe. This is not a wayward woman from the West Country, but rather the name ‘Hoe’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning a sloping ridge shaped like an inverted foot and heel. In other words it’s the bit in Plymouth that faces the sea. I am due to Proclaim to onlookers and visitors the message from 2nd Samuel from the Mayflower steps. It is HOSING it down.

The Mayflower Steps are close to the site in the Barbican area of Plymouth, from which the Pilgrim Fathers are believed to have finally left England aboard the Mayflower, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to settle in North America on 6 September 1620. In 2020, it will be the 400th anniversary of that 66 days sailing. Amazing! It is still raining.

Chris takes me to Marlow’s and forces me Bridget to drink “Death by Chocolate”. It nearly kills me, but so’s not to offend Chris, I drink it all down, flake and cream included. Chris, fallen man that he is, also indulges in a Scone with Clotted Cream and jam for just £1.95. I regret not joining him but being a man under authority, I cannot face Bridget with a bigger Dunlop belly than what I left with. For the record, Chris never offered me one piece of his scone. I freely forgive him for this.

It’s still hosing it down. I have left my hat in the car. Plonka. Me and Chris and a lunatic Seagull proceed to the Mayflower steps. I do have something to say from Plymouth rather than too Plymouth. Listen up now ye across yon pond.

We go back to the office. The back of my lags are soaked but the hot fan in the office is strategically placed to dry my button fly jeans.

At 6:00 we head to a city meeting at the Centre for faith and cultural diversity. It is liberal, but they have hot Flan and cold wine. I forgive them. They have their talk, and the visiting speaker begins to show a peace film against the ‘occupation of the West bank by the nation of Israel.’ I leave.

I remember three things. As a young man, having recently left the Navy I went into the Peace Camp outside the Polaris base to tell the protestors about Jesus. They nearly killed me when they found out I had served on Polaris boats. Pacifists can get very violent. Secondly I remembered an old Deborah called Jane Dennett. She is one of the founders of the Greenham common peace movement, has done time foe her beliefs, is regarded as one of the women of the last century and has some of her life story recorded by the British War Museum. She is also a born again Christian, lover of Israel and would probably have wiped the floor with the speaker. She is a warrior. She has a counted the cost. I found an MP3 of her speaking about her Greenham common days. She is one of my heroes. Thirdly I thought about how many of the Mayflower died in the first year in America.

Check out Jane’s small MP3 –Jane (Deborah)  “We were all prepared to go the whole way”

Forty-five of the 102 emigrants died the first winter and additional deaths during the first year meant that only 53 people were alive in November 1621 to celebrate the First Thanksgiving. Of the 18 adult women, 13 died the first winter, while another died in May. Only four adult women were left alive for the Thanksgiving. No women died aboard the ship, though a newborn baby and three men, including the captain, did.

“We were all prepared to go the whole way” How about me. How about you
I was due to speak at a Strong Meat Bible study. I travelled across town and for about 90 minutes spoke on 2nd Samuel.

I got back to Peters house and collapsed into bed.

I didn’t care what tomorrow would bring. I was knackered. I was fast asleep in seconds…

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About vrfarrell

Biblical activist
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