According to history.com, on this day in 1940 Winston Churchill (interesting that his surname begins “Church”) became Prime Minister and announced his policy “to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.”
On this day in 1989 my sister – who had been confirmed in the Church of England on 14 May 1978 (the 30th anniversary of Israel becoming a nation) was taken to a psychiatric hospital by her nearest and dearest, suffering a mental breakdown. Interestingly, it is said that Winston Churchill suffered from manic depression (now renamed bipolar), but he was a man who believed in a God who will give us the keys to waging war against monstrous tyranny. That monstrous tyranny comes in various guises, but it all emanates from the enemy of our souls, known by various names, such as lucifer, satan or the devil.
On this day in 2006, the World Prayer Centre based in Birmingham organised the 4th National Day of Prayer and Intercession called “Trumpet Call”. This took place at the NEC Arena in Birmingham. The main focus at this meeting was the launch of a prayer initiative called “Redeeming Our Communities”, encouraging church communities to pray for their area and its social needs. In the North West, where this had been happening for some time, crime rates were falling. Experience had proven that churches and agencies praying and working together for change could be a catalyst for positive change. Now, in Chesterfield, an initiative that originates in London has started, entitled “Street Pastors”, which sees Police, Council and Churches co-operating together, and the Church in Chesterfield is about to get involved with the “Redeeming Our Communities” projects. Interesting that ROC’s base is “Lancaster” House in Manchester.
I attended the 2006 “Trumpet Call” in Birmingham. I had started work with Compassion UK on 15 August 2005 (the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in WWII) and there I met a woman named Alison who had been “labelled” as suffering from manic depression (bipolar). She invited me to travel to Birmingham by coach with her and a group of Christians from Guildford churches, including a Brazilian man named John who I would later meet again when he organised a few of us to Worship on the streets of Guildford on a weekday evening for a period of time (even in the snow!).
I had moved to Guildford on 25 March 2006 and was excited to see that the “Churches Together” group in Guildford was called “The City of the Bride”, because God had spoken to me so powerfully on 17 May 1998 of how “The Bride” was called to wage war on “the enemy” and her weapon of warfare is love. Following on from the “Trumpet Call” in Birmingham on 13 May 2006, the “City of the Bride” organisation in Guildford had arranged for a week of prayer meetings in churches around the City. On the Sunday, 14 May the meeting was in Guildford College (the meeting place of Guildford Community Church); on Monday, 15 May the meeting place was the Roman Catholic Church and the focus was Marriage and Families; on Tuesday, 16 May the meeting place was Guildford Baptist Church and the focus was Arts and Leisure; on Wednesday, 17 May (the anniversary of my seeing the Battle of Britain memorial flight in Lincoln) the meeting place was St Saviours Church (which stands on the opposite side of the road to the Law Courts, one of which grants Divorces) and the focus was Business; on Thursday, 18 May the meeting place was the URC Church and the focus was the Civic sector; on Friday, 19 May the meeting place was Emmanuel church and the focus was the Health sector and, finally, on Saturday, 20 May the meeting place was Guildford Methodist Church and the focus was Education.
Here is an account (I guess written in 2003/2004) of how “The City of the Bride” began. Interesting that it was started out of a business (Markets Unlocked), since the focus (on 17 May 2006 in St Saviours Church opposite the Divorce Court) on the anniversary of my seeing the Battle of Britain memorial flight in Lincoln in 1998, was Business. Also interesting is that part of the scripture that God asked Julian Watts of Markets Unlocked to proclaim over Guildford was Isaiah 62:4 and this is a scripture that I felt God asked me to proclaim over the town in which I now live (13 miles east of Chesterfield) on 19 June 2005 when I was in Lincoln for a friend’s 50th birthday (that friend was born on St Botolph’s Day – June 17 and the road to Chesterfield from this town is the A617).
The full scripture Julian Watts proclaimed was Isaiah 61:10 – 62:4 but where “Zion” and “Jerusalem” became “Guildford”.
On 13 May 2007 a very special friend of mine from here, Natalie, was born again. She has now been moved with her family to Boston in Lincolnshire.
On Saturday, 19 May 2012 (on the anniversary of the Guildford “City of the Bride” prayer meeting at Emmanuel (meaning God with Us) Church, I shall be at a Worship Conference in Manchester organised by Worship Leaders from Bethel Church in Redding, California and I look forward to see what God will do as we seek His face. Bethel Church are seeing amazing things as they “step out” in faith knowing that our God is with them.