William Booth - St Just (1862)

St Just was next, where the population of the town and surrounding area was around 10,000 in 1862 and they were mainly employed in the mines. This was just before the decline in mining and the resultant emigration. William records that about 1,700 attended the various churches at the time of his visit and ‘On Sunday the 26th, we commenced our services in the Bible Christian chapel. At night the place was literally besieged with people, and it was calculated that some 2,000 were turned away.’ Little happened until Thursday night, when ‘The windows of Heaven were opened, and a shower of blessed influence descended upon us. The effect was electrical. It was sudden and overpowering. The sinners could restrain themselves no longer. Hearts were breaking, or broken, in every direction. The chapel was filled with the glory.’ Writing a little later, ‘When I say the whole place is moved, I mean that nearly every individual in the neighbourhood is more or less interested in the subject of religion. Little else is talked about, and in many instances, little else besides soul-saving work is done. A gentleman informed me yesterday that a great number of miners are too absorbed, either with their own salvation or with that of others to do much work. Many of the agents of the mines had expressed their willingness to allow the men to leave their work, only too glad that they should be converted.’ The police noticed a reduction in crime and the pubs were empty. At one point two travelling chimney sweeps were the only customers in three pubs. Some people would walk all night to get to a meeting and then walk all night back home. Catherine had her first-ever women-only meeting; she ministered in great power and there were 2,500 women at one of her meetings. At one hamlet every person went to the meetings, leaving one person to guard all the houses; at Truthwells 52 out of 58 adults were saved.

Additional Information

The Bible Christian Chapel stood at the end of Queen Street and is now a couple of houses. The chapel stood mainly to the left of the photo.

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