I was originally led to Plymouth in July 2009. There were several things that attracted me there:
- The Pilgrim Fathers left from there aboard The Mayflower on 16 September 1620:
I originally met my friend James, in Lincoln on St Botolph’s Day in 2005 (he had been born in St John’s psychiatric hospital on 16 September 1983, on the anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers setting sail from Plymouth) I remember one of the first things James did was sing to me the song by Casting Crowns “Who Am I”?
Some of the Pilgrim Fathers were imprisoned in Boston (the name of which came from St Botolph’s Stone) in Lincolnshire before they set sail for the Americas. Before I went to Boston in 1995, soon after I was born again, and saw where they were imprisoned, I was only aware of them having set sail from Plymouth.
- I had found that a road number (374) linked Weybridge with Plymouth:
I first met my husband, John, at a wedding whilst I was working for British Aerospace on the B374 in Weybridge in 1987. And currently work for Compassion UK in Weybridge. In 2009, when planning to go on pilgrimage to Plymouth, I found that the A374 runs through Plymouth. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart”.
I found it interesting that when God led me to Plymouth in July of 2009 a play about Charles Darwin the evolutionist was on at a local theatre in Plymouth, as it was the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. I went to see it and it was very good, but wrong.
I then found the amazing truth that Plymouth’s motto is Turris fortissima est nomen Jehovah – “the name of Jehovah is the strongest tower”. This is taken from Proverbs 18, which says “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower; The righteous runneth into it, and is safe”, and that made Plymouth even more special to me.
Just a week or so ago, from 19-21 May 2015, I was given the opportunity to go back to Plymouth for a GOD TV Celebration in Plymouth Guildhall (over the door to which is the motto: Turris fortissima est nomen Jehovah – “the name of Jehovah is the strongest tower”).
Since my visit in 2009, God TV (which had its humble beginnings in Hinchley Wood – near where I was living in Kingston upon Thames – in 1995) had bought a former nightclub building in 2013 on the A374 in Plymouth to turn into a Revival Prayer Centre. It seemed to me like just the right place, since I am reminded of Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart” and prayer is about delighting yourself in the LORD.
Whilst in Plymouth I had a look at the outside of this very run-down building in an area of Plymouth dedicated to debauchery, and was reminded that God had restored me from a decadent lifestyle. I believe He will help God TV restore this building and that it will be a place of refuge for those who come to recognise that “sex and drugs and rock and roll” is destroying them.
I stayed in the same guest house where I had stayed in 2009, across the road from The Hoe. Last year (2014) I had met Rebecca Smeaton when I worked at DDC in Worksop and on The Hoe stands “Smeaton’s Tower”
On the Magistrates Court I found a mosaic version of the Plymouth coat of arms and motto:
After the final evening of the God TV Celebration in the Guildhall, where Andrew Wommack had spoken a good deal about Faith, I wandered along to the waterfront and noticed a boat with that very word on it
And, as I was looking at that boat I heard a young man on an “open mike” at a pub across the water singing “Hallelujah”
On returning home from Plymouth, I remembered that one of the ushers I met at the God TV Celebration in Plymouth had said she was part of Riverside or River Church and that one of my colleagues at Compassion is part of a Riverside Church in Devon.
So I looked this up and came across River Church in Plymouth and found it is led by Faye and Scott Gould. I had met Faye and her mother, Sue, on Rhodes in October 2002, when I went on my own on a Master Sun Christian holiday to celebrate my 50th birthday, believing that God would put together a special party of people He wanted to celebrate with me.
I then found that River Church meet in the Guildhall in Plymouth. WOW, that is amazing.
This morning, 31 May, I was looking into the origins of the Plymouth motto and found the following from the Western Morning News:
“Bracken discusses the history of the English Civil War in Plymouth and the issues around Sir Richard Grenville (also known as ‘Skellum’ Grenville) when he changed his allegiance from supporting Parliament to supporting the King. As a Parliamentarian, Grenville was given a commission in the Army and was therefore in a position to access Parliamentarian intelligence. With this knowledge he marched to Oxford and joined the Royalist troops stationed there. Grenville’s actions were seen as an act of treachery by people in Plymouth. This is because Plymouth was held for Parliament against the forces of King Charles I during the whole of the war. After changing allegiances, Grenville wrote a letter to Colonel Gould, commander of the Parliamentarian forces in Plymouth, giving his reasons for ‘his change of front, stating that he was convinced Plymouth was a lost town and without hope of relief’. Gould’s sarcastic letter in reply to Grenville included the line, “The same God is still our rock and refuge”. Hence it is said that the motto was added to the Plymouth town arms shortly after this event to commemorate Gould’s words.
I wonder if God pointed that out to Faye and Scott Gould when He showed them that they should hold church in The Guildhall.