47 of 66 | The City of LEEDS | Unbelievable!


THIS WAS LEEDS | See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE


CRYPT: “An underground room or vault beneath a church, used as a chapel or burial place”

I had paid £40 I didn’t have for a room in Budget hotel in Wakefield. The staff were lovely, but as usual the promised Wi Fi was a challenge and the floor I was staying on, though it had been refurbished, still had gaffa tape and torn wallpaper and some divvies at 3:00am knocking on giggly girls doors at 3:00am!

I woke again around 5:30am and got packed and ready and took some telephone calls. Yes, that early!

I was down for the breakfast at about 7:30 and the full English which was spoiled by some sausage, the very thought of which now as I type, are still making me gag.

I finished doing the usual Word preparation, City research and Contact information gathering by 10:00am and was on the road the hour or so’s drive to the city of Leeds. It was raining and miserable.

• I rang and left a message for the Lord Mayor of Leeds. He was a Vicar, so I had high hopes of meeting with him. A call later in the day informed me he was out of town. I passed on my kind regards.
• I called the University Chaplaincy and left a message. They got back to me but couldn’t squeeze me in today, but thought it was brilliant what I was doing.
• I rang a large church which had been recommended to me but the staff were tired up in training. They were on a tight uninterruptable schedule.

I hadn’t got a clue what God was going to do today. I tell you the truth, in the wet miserable rain of Leeds, not only was I not at all interested in open air preaching but I was feeling a little glum. I number of things had contributed to this, but right at this moment and I would find for all of the day really, I just wanted to go to bed, curl up in a ball, make the world go away and sleep. I was feeling depressed. I knew why.

I parked the car in the centre of town (£11 extortion) and went hunting for coffee. I needed just to get out of the rain and pray. Oh and I needed another pair of glasses and a quick visit to O2 to see if they could fix my old iPhone and its answer machine problems. I got a pair of new specs (1.5 Mag) for .99p. RESULT! ) O2 told me my last bill was £120 and I needed to upgrade my phone. DISASTER. Now I was more depressed. I was contemplating buying some razor blades when a received a text

“Hi there. Its Dave here from Leeds. Do you want to give a short talk at St Georges Crypt? They work with the homeless. I would need you be there at 12:25. The address is Great George Street Leeds, LS1 3BR, Dave.”

I left the blades, got out my 3g and got guided to George Street. I was there by Mid-day
Now the entrance to this Crypt is like the entrance to a hotel. Indeed, it was 1,000 times better than the hotel I stayed in last night.

Now, even though it was Dave who sent me the text, for some reason I asked for a Pastor Steve, and was escorted by a client into the Assisi café. Oh and by the by, I was once a male model for a wall Mural of St Francis of Assisi. Crowds still visit the Old People’s Home it is featured in. The artist told me that she chose me as the model because she wanted someone who was “Slightly emaciated and a little mad.” I am no longer emaciated and my mental health is currently under scrutiny. My how times have changed.

I imagine Steve to be a more rotund version of Woodbine Willie. On his first day in the job, he had to give the last rites to a client.

Steve is the Bishops Chaplain for the homeless and a couple of other things beside.

Steve very proudly showed me all around the facility which serves 65,000 hot meals to clients each year. 65,000 * 3 course meals of the highest quality for £1 each and if you can’t find a £1 then Steve will find one for you. They don’t only serve hot meals, but provide 15 beds and a whole lot more besides and Steve is only one person in this fantastic operation that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per week. Look here are some videos I took from YouTube to give you a flavour. They are amazing!

For me a handful of big things stuck out a mile.

1) These were, for whatever reason, marginalised people of society. 90% of them today, seemed to be men. (More vulnerable women are better catered for) Yet, the premises, provisions and services and staff, were all of 5 Star excellences. The scabby place I stayed at last night and paid too much for the privilege needed to come down here and see service, care and excellent facilities. This place had care and excellence written all over it.
2) The clients were known, respected, cared and catered for and much PRAYED FOR.
3) 24% of the working staff were former clients. 24%!!!!
4) There palace was excellently decorated, linking the founding past to the most recent present and a hopeful future. Hessian, as used in sacks, could be seen to be part of some wall furnishings. Why? The founding priest used hessian sacks to cover the coffins whilst the homeless at the time were using the Crypt.
5) If the Christian church ceased to provide this service to the city and to our cities…it would be catastrophic.

I don’t know if Steve noticed, but I was fighting back the tears on a number of occasions as I was overwhelmed with the genuine goodness which was being displayed daily on this place.

My text for the day was: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 and it was a pleasure to try and share a few thoughts with them about these great verses.

These busy folk, Steve, Dave and Claire (who works for Leeds City Mission and visits the Crypt and is a prison chaplain and is so enthusiastic about her God and her calling all gave me an interview.

Now, while we are on the subject of women in leadership….yes, I know you know my Biblical views…..here is a tract put out maybe what, 60 years ago by the founder of the New tribes Mission

The New Tribes Mission |Paul Flemming

Here am I, Send My Sister

We’re startled when we realize that many more women than men are applying for missionary work in foreign fields. While Bible schools and seminaries are turning out more men than ever in their histories, men seem to be crowding to the pulpits while the women are doing the men’s job out on the tough pioneer mission fields of the world.

There is not much you can say for the multiplied hundreds of young men who continue to flood into the ministry and take refuge behind the pulpit while we continue to let the women in increasing numbers do the toughest job assigned to Christian soldiers.

What is it that attracts the women in the mission field in such great numbers, compared to men? What is it that attracts so many men to the ministry in their home land compared to those who go to the mission field?

Today, we have prepared men to be brilliant, capable, and eloquent and have emphasized their personalities. Such preparation hardly prepares a man for the jungles. The little brown or black tribesman is hardly capable of appreciating such a one’s true earthly value.

So it seems that the man, who has worked hard to become what he is, is evidently too good to be wasted on the heathen and should stay where he is appreciated. Surely God isn’t continually calling 95 percent of the Christian men to stay while 5 percent pursue the world objective which we, as Christians, have received from the Lord Himself.

The Church’s need is not necessarily more preachers but more obedience to God’s Word. God could surely do something about the ills of our nation if He found us willing to practice what we preach. Men of such shortsightedness and with the desire to remain in comfort while leaving others to do the dangerous job of preaching the Gospel will never challenge lives.

While we thank God for every woman who has made an effort toward reaching the untouched, we realize it is a MAN’S job. The leveling off’ process must begin.
Either the Church must give more men for front line evangelism on the far flung battlefields of the world, or we will have a horde of shrivelled up pastors and laymen who are beating the air and dying because they have no vision that is big enough and positive enough to demand all that they are for God’s front line job.

We men!
We are the stronger sex
It has always been so!
We send our gifts to mission fields
To which the women go.
While up the steepest jungle paths
A woman bravely treads,
We men, who are the stronger sex,
Do pray beside our beds.
When women leave to go abroad
The heathen souls to reach,
We men, who are the stronger sex,
Do stay at home to preach.
While women, in some far off shack
Do brave the flies and heat,
We men, who are the stronger sex
In cool and comfort eat.
Fatigued and weary, needing rest,
The women battle on.
We men, who are the stronger sex,
Do write to cheer them on!
O valiant men!-come-let us sleep
And rest our weary heads.
We shall not be the stronger sex
If we neglect our beds!

It’s not very PC I know, but I don’t care. I think in this wee tract “Here I am Lord send my sister” is maybe the real reason why we are in such a state today. Our pulpits have been full of geldings instead of stallions. And you can blame David Murrow for the gelding reference, not me.
Dave gave me the opportunity to join 50 students on a city tour of what God was doing in Leeds though His church. What a great idea! And Claire gave me directions to the Leeds market to interview some Christians who occupied a book stall there. Dave even got me a free parking pass to put my car in St Georges Car park in the centre of town. Brilliant. But you know I had a call I needed to return and then I would decide.

The call turned out to be a Pastor from Wakefield and we chatted a while and prayer for each other. But even after all this, my spirits were low. I wanted that bed and last week, I had managed to book a room for £29 in the Britannia Hotel.

By 4:30pm I was unpacking my car and settling in to my lovely £29 room. I had a full breakfast and a great meal at the Crypt (Bridget, I had rice pudding with strawberry jam for dessert – Oh my goodness!) And so I finished off my Ritz Crackers and Peanut butter in my room.

I listened to Dale Carnegies book “How to stop worrying and start living” and despite Dale being a bit bonkers and theologically crippled; I love this book and its positive true life stories. I have listened to it many, many times. But not even this lifted my spirits. So, I retorted to silence and journaling, telephoning and emailing for the next 6 hours.

I received a text which said,

“Hey Up Rob-Hope U R well. My name is xxxx and we met on Tuesday nite when U came 2 R prayer night at Church in Hull. I just wanted to say that U really blessed me with what you are doin’ it’s really quite amazing and the message from the book of Romans was very exciting. I’m very young in the faith and feel very blessed 2 have met you and would luv 2 meet up 4 a chat 1 day about your amazing 66 journey. May our Lord bless and keep you safe always, keep well brother. God bless.”

HOW WONDERFUL! And then later on in the evening an email from a brother in the USA which said:

Hey Victor. Hope you are well. Making plans to come over next year. Would like to begin chatting about shooting some interview segments covering a variety subjects on the church, the world, discipleship and asking questions perhaps others only think about. Would you be interested in something like this? …My thinking is to put a panel together and address some of the far reaching questions that are hanging on the tree that just need to be picked off. I would love your thoughts on this. …. I’m hoping this note might stir some new avenues of how we could get all of us together for some incredible conversations…..looking forward to your reply….

I am daily amazed at just who does have their eye on 66 Cities.

So, it’s now 11:00pm and after all of this, I am still feeling guilty for still feeling cruddy, and so adieu, I’m off to sleep. Meanwhile, Dale Carnegie, writing many, many years ago is now singing out “What a friend we have in Jesus” and encouraging me to prayer and thankfulness. He has just told me that in America (at the time of his writing) someone commits suicide every 35 minutes and goes insane every two minutes. Cripes! Goodness knows what the statistic will be nowadays. Dale says that without prayer and faith, I will ‘go mental and become suicidal.’ Carnegie and Yung obviously never had access to Cadbury’s chocolate!

Only joking. Its prayer, some Scripture and sleep. Tomorrow is almost here.

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About vrfarrell

Biblical activist
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