Christ Church Lowestoft (1921)




After that first memorable week it was decided to widen the influence of the meetings, and so from the second week the afternoon Bible readings were held at Christ Church. The first one filled the Parish Room, the next one filled the church, and so it continued for three weeks, including Easter week, as Dou­glas Brown gave Bible studies on the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ. On those memorable afternoons the tramcars were full of people carrying Bibles, and when they reached Old Nelson Street the conductor would call out. 'Get off herefor Christ Church.' Someone said that the addresses were like 'bombshells', their aim was practical and they were directed at the lives of Christians.' Iwo stand out in the memory of all,' reported Micklewright. ‘They were on “The Judgement Seat of Christ”. Solemn words were spoken in regard to some classes of worker, including the preacher who had occupied his time with a social gospel or philosophical discourse, and the Sunday School teacher or Bible Class leader who had been an unfaithful steward of the Word. Those services maintained the same wonderful attendances and earnestness, and on Good Friday afternoon, notwithstanding the brilliant sunshine and services in most other churches, Christ Church was more crowded than ever.'

The Rev. John Hayes described the scenes in Christ Church in March 1921. 'I want to take you into my church one Wednesday evening. At a quarter to seven that church is full, it is 'bung' full, and I have to go up in the pulpit and say to the people, "My blends, I want those of you who love the Lord Jesus to go out. I want you to go into the Parish Hall and pray." They got up and went, here and there all over the church; they passed into the Parish Hall, some two hundred of them gathered there, and they held a prayer meeting. Then I had to say to the young men, "I want you to get up and sit on the floor at the front”: and we had to get people into that church packed in that way, and in the vestry. In the Parish Hall they were praying: there was a sister praying for her sis­ter who was in the church, and at the close of the service that sister came to me and said 'I want to talk to you.’ On the following Tuesday evening that sister was led to Christ in my study in answer to the prayer offered in the Parish Hall.

We can never tell you half of the answers to prayer. It has been most wonderful. Young men praying for the girls to whom they were engaged, girls praying for their young men, mothers praying for their boys and their girls, children praying for their fathers, friends praying for friends. I remember one night in the church there stood a young man with bowed head and I said, ‘What are you doing here?’ 'I have been praying for my five companions, and four of them have come to Jesus, and I am praying for the lost one; he has not come tonight.' I do not know whether he came. I have not heard the end of the story, but that is what has been going on.'

From, 'A Forgotten Revival', by Stanley Griffin, pages 26-28, with permission from the publisher, DayOne Publications.