I have “blogged” about how I felt compelled at Christmas 1993 to buy a duvet set from Marks & Spencer called Iona. A couple of weeks ago I was reminded that at that same Christmas, both my family and my husband’s family bought me Cliff Richard’s LP “From A Distance, The Event”.
I believe my family bought me the tapes and John’s family bought me the boxed set of LP’s.
Six months later, when John left and I started my journey with Jesus as a Born Again Christian, I was led to contact Cliff’s Christian friends after reading his book “You, Me and Jesus”. This was how I came to be with Pioneer Christian Fellowship, who had just changed their name from Cobham Christian Fellowship and were meeting at Esher Cinema. “Co-incidentally”, I felt that God was encouraging me to think that there was a link between the word Pioneer and music, inasmuch as a “pioneering” work was to be done where people would be healed through Christian music.
On 16 May 2012, at what I call the “clerical factory” where I was working on a temporary basis as a “document handler” I was again reminded of the time in 1994/5 when I first came to know Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and Friend. I had been processing questionnaires (in order for farmers to get a subsidy from the Government) for a month or so and on 16 May 2012 I was asked to work on a whole load of questionnaires that had come in via the RPA Centre in Exeter.
I was reminded that in 1995, a year after John left, I was camping with my Kingston church at the May Bank Holiday Pioneer Conference at the Devon Agricultural Showground in Exeter and the Conference was entitled “The Event Without Walls”. I remember wandering through the campsite in a daze thinking that here was a mini view of what Heaven would be like. There were hundreds of Christians there to praise God. I also remember that Martin Smith was there with his “Cutting Edge Band”, later known as “Delirious” and Sue Rinaldi (with whom I would later travel to Israel on my first visit in September 2000, where war broke out on our second day there) was another of the worship leaders. She had previously been part of a Christian group called “Heartbeat” and another member of that group, Trish Morgan, was a worship leader with my church in Lincoln (I had moved to Lincolnshire in March 1995).
Whilst the job I had at the “clerical factory” is not the best I have ever had, it contains elements of my story. My earthly father was a data processing manager and there I was processing data; my best man was a farmer and there I was processing farmers’ questionnaires; when my brother died in 1976, my father died in 1977, my husband left in 1994 and my mother died in 1999 I was working for various Chartered Surveyors, and many of the questionnaires I was processing had come via Chartered Surveyors. In addition, I have happy memories of most of the Chartered Surveyors I have worked with as being very gentlemanly employers.
One of things that bemuses me at the moment, although I am sure God will provide the answer at some point, is why the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors building should be located in Westminster, close to such powerful sites as the Houses of Parliament and Methodist Central Hall, Westminster Chapel, etc.