Northwich - Salvation Army (1878)

This is an excerpt from the first monthly report from the Salvation Army station here.

Amongst the rich pages of our history, which we have formed during the past month, none will read better than the story of Northwiclh. Two of the youngest and most inexperienced officers of the Army were sent down one Thursday to a town where no one knew us where no building was as yet taken for service and no arrangement whatever made. They were unable to secure the week-night place we had believed would be available at once on application. But they secured the·Sunday service room, borrowed a schoolroom for weeknights overcame every difficulty and in three or four days' time, bad the town at their mercy.

...The following extracts from letters tell a little more of this wonderful victory:-

"We entered this town very tired, and sought lodgings and found none until about nine o'clock, when the Lord touched someone's heart to give us shelter. On Sunday, August 25th, we took our first stand in one of the back streets, and as I looked around I could not help noticing how dark and black everything seemed here; I put my books in the middle of the road and we struck up singing when crowds immediately came to hear us. They seemed somewhat amazed when they saw two small females standing up alone singing God's praises."

..."On Friday night there was not standing-room in the Crown Rooms for the people and they jumped over the forms to seek salvation. We had 26 souls blessedly saved. Great rough men, who never go to a place of worship, wept like babies. I should like a little help, as there are more penitents weeping to seek the Lord than we can talk to. 

Happy to say we had a glorious day yesterday. Our open-air meetings were grand all day. We had a glorious procession to the Drill Hall. The power of God was somewhat great in all our meetings. They came in crowds to hear us. The Drill Hall was packed full. There was no standing room for the people and I am quite sure if I had help we would’ve had the Crown Rooms as full as the Drill Hall. There was over 100 people could not get in at all.

But oh, hallelujah, we had a glorious time. 30 souls sought and found the Lord. I am going in for a grand brokenhearted meeting tonight, for the people say we are breaking all the people's hearts.

Many had returned to their Father and today they are rejoicing in the sunlight of heaven. It rejoices my heart when I look up on their faces and see how blessedly the Lord has saved them.

I want to say how kind the bretheren and sisters of various denominations have been. They have come up to help us in every possible way they could. I do not know when I saw open-air meetings attended with such attention as they are in Northwich. The Christian people have not turned their backs upon us but have given us the right hand of fellowship. I do not think the people at Northwich will ever forget the Salvation Army entering this town. Some of God's children were astonished when they saw us stand in the open air alone, but yet not alone, for the power of the Holy Ghost came down and filled our souls so unutterably full.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', October 1878, pages 259-261.

ALTHOUGH the work here has been very little reported on, it has laid hold of the whole population and has been blessed to the salvation of hundreds of souls.

From, 'The Salvationist', January 1879, page 21.

Writing early in the month, the sisters - for Sisters Caswell and Copely are there-say :

\Ve have had a glorious week. Sinners saved and believers sanctified. After the Holiness Meeting, Friday night, 10 came out for Sanctification. We had a glorious Sunday-10 souls, and a membersl tea on Tuesday when about 200 sat down. Last nght was a glorious meeting and 10 more fell down at the foot of the Cross. Some of the worst are being saved.

Later.-Very happy to inform you we have had a glorious week. Over 50 have professed to find peace. The town seems to be all on a move. Wherever we go people seem to be crying out about their souls. On Sunday the place was packed to excess. Lots had to go away; fuller than ever. Twenty souls for Jesus, Oh, hallelujah! We are rising; we mean to have Northwich for Jesus.

Writing on the 12th February, one of the members says:- The work is going on better than ever. We had 42 souls last week, and a lot on Saturday, 11on Sunday, and 12 on Monday. O praise the Lord forever!

The cottage prayer meetings take well. On Monday afternoon it was so full we had to come out in the open air, and the dear sisters gave an address. People come to our meetings three or four miles through frost and snow.

One of our brethren has just died very suddenly, and our people followed the corpse about two miles to the cemetery. Crowds of people came to witness the sight. The blessed Lord is prospering our sisters.

We counted the people at our meetings. There were 956, and hundreds praising God that ever He directed Mr Booth to send the sisters to Northwich.

From, 'The Salvationist', March 1879, page 70.

Northwich is going ahead. Sister Dexter, who is much better, though still far from strong, says this station has not been half reported. Perhaps it would be difficult to tell half the wondrous works the Lord has wrought here. The meetings are as crowded as ever, and sinners are saved. It is proposed at once to build a hall, probably a wooden erection, to hold 800 or 900 people, but then the money must be raised.

From, 'The Salvationist', November 1879, page 287.

No reports for several months here, but it seems the work is advancing. For more reports see 'the War Cry' that began January 1880.

Additional Information

I do not know where the Drill Hall or Crown Rooms were.

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