44 of 66 | The City of YORK | And My Mate Mike

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I was actually up at around 6:00am, washed, packed and ready by 7:00am. John and I were off to an early Morning Prayer meeting for the Youth of Ripon before I got off to York.

A quick cup of tea and six of us started praying for an hour about the Youth of Ripon. I was blown away to come across people so passionate about youth of this wee seemingly very prim and proper place. It was a real blessing to come across such passionate people so early in the morning. I managed to get three great interviews, and praise God; one of the Evangelists there had formerly lived in York and hooked me up with a very influential contact.


After this I got my 3g iPad out, got hold of some telephone numbers and got on the road.

• I tried ringing the Mayor’s Office and left a message with his PA • I rang the Arch Bishop of York. He was out of town. He had heard I was coming. • I rang the Dean of York Minster. He too was out of town. • I rang Rob Aisley who said he would give me an interview and would also try and hook me up with St Michael Le Belfry which was directly across from the Minster.

I arranged to see Rob at 1:00am as he headed up a great ministry, and then called the contact at St Mike’s. They got back to me and said that I could come for an interview and that it was more than likely I could speak in the church as they would always have a flow through of visitors.
I parked at Castle Gate, grabbed my black bag and headed on up to find St Mike’s. I had nearly an hour to kill before I met Al at 11:30am and I was starving, so I popped into Maccy D’s for a Big Mac Meal and a black coffee. I was now wired for sound!

I called on Al at the Parish Office directly across from the entrance to the Minster and behind St Michael’s itself.


It was a great interview and he also got me permission to speak both inside and outside of the church. I seemed to have God’s favour and so decided to cash in on it. I went across to the Minster and flashed by badge to the turn style lady (£9 to get in) and asked to see the head verger. He was away. “OK then can I see his stand in?” It just so happens that both of his ‘stand-ins’ where just passing. I explained my mission to them and as usual, the vergers were as helpful as could be. Yes, I could speak outside the minster, yes they would see about me parking my car and yes they would see if I could speak inside the Cathedral with a pass and told me where I could park. I would be using my PA after all. I was pleased at this as the wind was really starting to get up. I mean if it could blow you over it could easily steal any of your words away.
There was no way I was going to make my 1pm appointment so I ran to re-arrange it for later in the day. I left a message.

It took me twice as long to get back to my car as I had forgotten the route to where I parked it (again) and by now it was precisely 1pm.

I drove up to Cathedral Close and parked for free. I got my board and PA and walked the sort distance to St Mike’s. It was very windy, but I updated my board outside and then got a chair. I stood on it and asked who wanted to be on Television (of course this will be on Television! Have faith!) Of course a group of visiting teenagers certainly wanted that and so I got a volunteer to hold my board, stood on my chair outside of St Mike’s and went for it.

I tried to get more folks
inside the Church building and was thrilled to find out that this was the church that Guy Fawkes had been baptised in before he went over to ‘the other side!’, and that the very pulpit I was to speak from was built for David Watson! Amazing.

Wikipedia says: ‘Watson became Curate-in-Charge of St. Cuthbert’s, York in 1965 which was attended by no more than twelve at any service, and was twelve months away from redundancy. Eight years later the congregation had out-grown St. Cuthbert’s and an array of annexes resulting in a move to St. Michael le Belfry, York. Subsequently the congregation grew to many hundreds, in only a few years. As his ministry progressed, Watson was involved with missionary enterprises throughout the world and was a high profile advocate of reconciliation and ecumenism in Northern Ireland. He met the Vineyard Leader John Wimber in 1980, and was one of the first people to welcome him to the UK. This encouraged the connection between Wimber and Terry Virgo of New frontiers that ensued. He left St. Michael-Le-Belfrey in 1982 for London. David Watson was a regular contributor to Renewal magazine, a publication of the interdenominational charismatic movement which started in the 1960s. He died of cancer on 18 February 1984 after recording his fight with the disease in a book, Fear No Evil – John Gunstone remarked of David Watson: “It is doubtful whether any other English Christian leader has had greater influence on this side of the Atlantic since the Second World War.” J. I. Packer called him “one of the best-known clergymen in England.”

The Minster had arranged for me to speak to a Minor Cannon at 1:45pm. I was late, but fortunately he hung around for me. I could speak in the minster at 3:30pm providing I was no longer than 3 minutes and that I was positive about the Gospel. What a privilege.
I sat out in the cold with a Christian busker across from the Minster and waited until 3:15pm. It was far too windy to speak outdoors now, but I thought I would give it a go to see if some people might come inside to see more.

Inside the minster at 3:30pm the bells rang. The minor cannon introduced me as Mr. Victor Robert Farrell….. They refuse to accept my non Anglican ordination! It makes me giggle. After the very brief and succinct meditation on the Acts of the Apostles, I spoke for a wee while to a couple of foot surgeons who asked me to pray for their children. Everyone is worried about their kids.
I was cold and tired now. Whilst waiting with the Christian busker, he had hooked me up with a Mr John Kelly who might be able to help me in Hull tomorrow and I had been in contact with him. I had also asked Bridget to find me a Bed & Breakfast. I needed to get some time by myself to see if I could upload some stuff to the internet and do some publishing.

As I exited the Minster, the text came through from Bridget ref the B & B. It was about a half hours drive away. It took me an hour to get there and another £77 tank of gas. I unpacked, showered put some new clothes on and then went to eat. I seem to be perpetually hungry? I rang Bridget. Billy No Mates rides again. Still, as soon as I was finished, I could get straight to work.
My Skype buzzed most of the evening and it was good to talk with a buddy from the US who might come across for the last part of the tour to keep me company? I hope he can make it. We shall see. Indeed, I got another US email which said- “Hello!

My name is xxxx xxxx and we have a mutual friend. He’s informed me of your 66 day preaching in Europe. I just wanted to say I’m greatly encouraged by this work and know that I’m committing to praying for you regularly as you preach a gospel that so desperately needs to be heard. I pray God will receive the glory through your work, that many will come to know Christ through repentance of sin and receiving forgiveness and growing in holiness. I also pray he will watch over your every need and give you exactly what you need to show you His faithfulness and also to grow your dependency him. Thanks for your work! Encouraged, xxxx xxxx.”

Yes, I was greatly encouraged!
By 11:00pm I was all tucked up in bed and snoozing away.

I wondered what tomorrow would bring.

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About vrfarrell

Biblical activist
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