St Martin's, Birmingham (1878)

God is giving us showers of blessing in connexion with the General Church Mission here. It is not too much to say that
this great town is being mightily stirred, and there is every reason to believe that a large number of wanderers are being
brought home to the Father's house.

It has been explicitly understood from the first that this mission is simply a simultaneous and not a united mission; that is to say, that each church is acting quite independently, on its own responsibility. By this wise arrangement those serious
difficulties in united action which arise from the unhappy divergencies of opinion in the Church of England have been
entirely avoided. It is clearly understood that no clergyman is any more responsible for what happens in another church
than he is on any ordinary occasion. All ecclesiastical strife having thus been avoided, men's minds have been left all the
more free to receive the spiritual impressions of the mission, and, so far as we can hear, a very deep impression has been
produced in many of the churches.

At the parish church (St. Martin's) the Rev. W. Hay Aitken has been the missioner, and the congregations have gone on
increasing, till on Thursday evening hundreds turned back from the doors, unable to make their way through the crowd
at the bottom of the church. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the mission here has been the services for business
men at one o'clock; towards the end of the week they mustered a very large attendance - not less than 1,000 persons
must have been present on Friday. Every night the anxious have been invited to repair to the schoolroom after the service, and on each occasion there has been a very considerable response.

The Rev. R. C. Billing, of Islington, has had very great encouragement in the church in which he has been labouring. Seeking souls have been numbered by scores there, and some. times even by hundreds. Similar blessing has accompanied the work of the Rev. J. Honeyburne, when the church has been so crowded that an overflow meeting has had to be held in the schoolroom, where the vicar's brother, a Cambridge undergraduate, has been much blessed in his work.

Good work, too, of a most interesting character is reported from the church at which the Rev. G. Thornton, of Bengeo, has been mission preacher; and similar good news has been heard from St. Clements and from Sparkbrook. In the former the Rey. R.W.Aitken has been labouring with much encouragement and many signs of blessing; in the latter the Rev. Mr. Tyler has been the missioner and has pleaded with much earnestness and power with a congregation composed to a large extent of persons in the higher social grades. The work has extended to some country districts beyond the town. From Perry Barr, Mr Snepp reports that a very blessed work of grace has resulted from the earnest and powerful preaching of Rev W H Wright, vicar of St Paul's Cheltenham and similar tidings have reached us of the work of the Rev. Mr Latham, at Mr Barkerville's suburban church.

Altogether there is every reason to believe that a very large and widespread blessing is falling upon this town.

"The Christian," January 31st, 1878.

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