- Ask For GOD TO BLESS THE VICAR OF LANCASTER, ALICE & MARK
- Thanks For having a Bed to stay in last night
- TODAY SATURDAY 8TH OCTOBER I am inCARLISLE, so please pray for Divine appointments please…….and of course for PROVISION. THIS IS A BIG ISSUE.
PROCLAMATION LOCATIONS & NEEDS
- TOMORROW’S MESSAGE is in the city of BELFAST & ROOTED IN the book of JOEL
- THE DAY AFTER’S MESSAGE is ROOTED IN the book of AMOS;
See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE
Fitful sleep gets me up at 3:45am. Like it or not the lack of finances is effecting me and the need for housing and a job just ten days after the tour is weighing on my mind. During the day I can force myself to concentrate on the next twelve hours and enjoy God unfolding the day (mostly) but at night, my subconscious takes over and last night I was dreaming of unopened letters and bills. I reckon a few million people in Britain are having the same dream. The future is in God’s hands. I need to trust Him with it. So do us all.
I get an email from a Christian Theatre Company. They have no money. They are closing down.
The drive to Lancaster is not too long and after putting 4 hours on the metre I make my way to Maccy’ D’s for breakfast and Wi Fi. I am going to be there for the next for hours.
One of the staff a native of Lancaster tells me that Poverty is a massive problem. Her son has been getting up every day and looking for work. 18 months later and still no job. A sense of hopelessness is creeping in. The Hospital, retail outlets, local government and the Universities, (they have two and one is suffering financially) are the only real employers and the University students are taking a lot of the jobs. ‘Everyone used to be employed by the power station and now there is nothing.’ Lancaster seems to have a growing sense of hopelessness.
• I ring a large Anglican church. The Administrator cannot make a decision, the curate has left and the Vicar is away and his car has broken down. Now is not a good time
• I ring the local YMCA community radio. They will get back to me in five minutes. They never do. I ring several more times. No one answers.
• I ring the Hospital radio. It has closed down.
• I ring Lancaster University Chaplaincy. Its Fresher’s week 2 and there is a Lecturers protest going on over pension cuts. Security is making sure they don’t get violent. They cannot help me.
• I ring the Mayor’s office. The Mayor is too busy to get with me.
• I ring churches together and a nice man hooks me up with the priory
• I ring Lancaster Castle. They can meet with me but only do an audio recording
• I ring the Priory. The Vicar of Lancaster answers. It’s his day off, but he will gladly meet with me. They have an unusual pulpit which was made in 1619 which would tie in with the 400th anniversary of the Bible real well.
A Pastor from Manchester calls me. He has hooked me up with an opportunity to speak. Praise God.
I get a call from Northern Ireland. I am hooked up with accommodation for the next three nights and I have two places to speak on Sunday and one on Monday Night.
A bloke just walks out of the toilet next to me still pulling his pants up and say, “I feel so much better for that and lighter mate I can tell you.”
I laugh. He says “I can’t bl%^&y have anything to eat just yet because I have to go for a scan.”
“What’s wrong mate?” Says I
“Ooh…. they know its Lymphoma, they just don’t know what type it is” He then explains the symptoms and how it was discovered and the prognosis. I say I will pray for him and he walks away thankful and bemused.
I am told that the market place is the place to go and do some naked bungee jumping. After 3pm all the teenagers congregate there adjacent to the museum.
The folks in MacDonald’s are really helpful. I have been sat here for nearly four hours, and have even had a FREE cup of coffee brought to me. Just lovely.
But I have to leave. And head to check out the Market place.
There is a café Nero’s adjacent to the spot.
A busker is nearby and I want to know if he is going to be performing. As I am speaking to him he says “Are you a Christian” I say yes. He disgustingly replies “I could tell. You have something about you. I am a convinced and very bitter ‘f’ing atheist.”
“Oh”, says I, “well my names Robert and I am pleased to meet you.” The guy does not like Christians, he has been busking like this for twenty six years and he doesn’t like that either. He is from the North East and down here touring for two weeks. He sleeps in his van. He hates life.” During our conversation, all of a sudden, he just stops talking and blanks me. I mean no foul language, no ‘get lost’, he just all of a sudden utterly blanks me. So, I politely say my goodbyes and move on. Very strange. This guy does not like proclamation that’s for sure.
I have to be at the Priory by 1pm and manage to drive the car up there and park outside. I meet the Vicar of Lancaster who is all dressed in mufti and waiting for me there. The Vicar is awesome. After the interview I tell him (and mean it) that he makes me want to become an Anglican Priest. His genuine enthusiasm for the things of God is totally infectious.
INSERT CHRIS VIDEO HERE
The Vicar says he comes from the liberal wing, however, having been involved in a deliverance ministry in his last Parish; he is more than aware of the reality of the spiritual realm and the demonic. He remembers an old lady following instructions from a placid old magazine called the Peoples Friend on automatic writing. She followed the instructions and was shocked at the results. He had to go and sort it out.
The whole area of course in the early 17th Century, has had real problems. The Pendle Witches or Lancashire Witches were the most famous witches in English legal history The Lancashire Witch Trial In the year 1612, at Lancaster Castle (literally across the road from the Priory) led to ten people being hanged for the crime of witchcraft. I understand the procedures in the Salem Witch trials were rooted much in what happened in Lancaster Castle. Add then to all this the horrific hung drawn and quartered deaths of 15 Catholic priests, the imprisonment of 100’s of Quakers, and of George Fox in particular, together with many of their deaths through diseased conditions in the prison, and all the other terrible injustices done here even right through to the Birmingham Six of the 1970’s (whose convictions were declared ’unsafe’ in 1981) and you can see that Lancaster and Lancaster castle could be seen as a pretty dark place spiritually. It is.
As I get into the nearly 400 year old pulpit and the Priory, and prepare to give just a very wee meditation on the book of Daniel, Chris tells that George Foxe also preached in this very pulpit and was dragged from it by incensed parishioners. Lancaster is very important to the Quakers and though I did visit the friends meeting room around the Corner from the Castle. No one was home. The light within had obviously gone out shopping. Anyways, here is what I had to say from the Pulpit George Fox was dragged from.
INSERT CHRIS PULPITT VIDEO HERE
INSERT MEDITAITON HERE.
After my time with the Vicar of Lancaster I visited Lancaster Castle across the road. I was surprised to find it had been a working prison up to March of this year housing around 250 inmates and that its court rooms were still in use today, subsequently I have no video or pictures, it being illegal with a penalty of up to two years imprisonment to take pictures in the Castle. However, I did get some great audio recordings and the gentleman that showed me around was very helpful. In my opinion, spiritually speaking, Lancaster Castle is a truly horrible place.
I went down into town to check my email at Café Nero’s and sure enough, the Market place was packed with school kids, I mean maybe a couple of hundred. The community Police were evident; two by two walking the streets, and very interestingly a large mobile unit form the local authorities was parked at the top of the street. Three older youth workers all in their late forties and early fifties (interestingly most churches would never employ youth workers this old) were making themselves available for the kids. They had already had thirty enquiries that day. They deal with cases from drug issues, STD’s and homelessness and even joblessness. They are non judgemental, have no agenda and are there simply to provide a service of help, health and hope.
I remember that the Mayor of Preston had told me about a visit she had made to Kiev in the late 1970’s. I was surprised by this as for far too many weeks I had been trained to identify Soviet Kiev Class Warships for their familiar blade resonance. She understood my surprise and said that they were followed everywhere, even to the bathroom, and of course they had o be very careful what they said and to whom they spoke to.
The CCTV cameras above the square in Lancaster moved from left to right. Swinging quickly this way and then that. Each day we walk in our cities, every move is monitored, watched and recorded. In addition to this I have noticed that these council employees and even the Lancaster castle staff are very reluctant to say what they personally think about things. They are quite literally, legally gagged. All they can do is repeat the local authority’s policy and abide by it. The CCTV cameras watched my lengthy conversation with the youth workers and the Lancaster local authority workers all meticulously and internally edited their conversation with me as I interviewed them. Could they lose their jobs? Could they be taken to court for an expressing an opinion contrary to the local authority? You betcha! Another national anthem echoed in my mind: “Oh sing to the Mother land united and free, bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong.” What on earth is happening to us here in England?
I had no message from Daniel for these hundreds of people in front of me in Lancaster, and frankly if I had, I think I would have been too fearful to have preached it. I might have stood in the Pulpit in which George Fox had preached, but compared to him, I was a pussy.
The churches symbiotic relationship in providing the salt of good social services to fill the gaps in government cutbacks are being greatly received. Providing of course we keep our mouths shut. True Evangelicals, the simple verbal proclaimers of Christ the only the Way, Christ the only Truth and Christ the only Life are increasingly seen as social pariahs, simpletons and idiots, mad people worthy only of mockery whose narrow minded and bigoted views must never be allowed to be publicly proclaimed. Is this really the case in Britain? Well, you tell me? Is it?
To compound my spiritually sinking feeling, I was concerned that I had exceeded my minutes on my cell phone. I had. Greatly. The bill would be making me cry. I found and O2 store and lined up for 45 minutes. An assistant upgraded my plan for me. This would do me for the remainder of the tour, after which, I would cancel it. Being on the road was expensive.
I left Lancaster city centre very sad. I don’t know if it was exceeding my 02 minutes, the darkness I had felt, the hopelessness, the gagged suspicion but I was feeling a bit oppressed. I drove to the nice people who were providing food and accommodation for me and after a beer and a home cooked curry and some good conversation I was feeling a little better inside. God has His people in Lancaster.
I logged in tonight and received this email
Happened across you in Swansea last Saturday and made myself known to you briefly. Saw your blog and recognised it all…well done! Love the systematic approach to all you`re doing.
I am setting up a free school with the Bible teaching to be the whole basis of the counter-curriculum on offer. My testimony might even match yours….but for now let me say that I greatly admired what I saw of your work on Saturday. If I can help in any way, let me know…in the interim, hope you`ve got your teaching notes and ideas still to hand because you could help me greatly I`m sure!
What is the Jagger/Eccles link then?…”Satisfaction” or “Saint of me”?…didn`t get to tell you that “Turn, Turn,Turn ” was on our car radio as we came into Swansea…Brian Matthew gave an interesting story to the songs writing and recording…and funnily enough I`m putting Matthews gospel together for the curriculum…bet THAT can’t be done in 66 mins, but if anyone could manage to do it justice…you could! God Bless and hope to hear from you. Chris… etc etc
That was nice. I needed that.
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