It’s been a week since I was in Welshpool: it’s in Wales if anyone’s in doubt as to its whereabouts (!) – yet there’s no town called ‘Scotsloch’ or Irishlough’ or ‘Englishpuddle’, is there?! It was wonderful to be with Jonathan and Kathryn Crosskey – great friends of 30 years or so, from days in Worthing, Rustington, and Littlehampton: I’ve mentioned in a previous blog about the unique ‘bond’ with them resulting from a mammoth car crash in 1994 (no, I haven’t forgotten I said I’d write about it in a blog – I just wanted to make sure my memory of it was accurate by chatting to Kathryn about HER memory of it!).
That area of Wales is quite tough to live as a charismatic evangelical, and so once a month, the Crosskeys, and a few others from other churches, come together under the banner of ‘The Filling Station’, for a ‘relaxed’ but powerful time of worship, over coffee, cakes, and with a visitng – or local – speaker. It’s a fast growing ‘movement’, The Filling Station, spreading across a good swathe of the UK, Europe, and further afield. Google it – it’s got a good foundation.
I arrived from Worcester in time for lunch – and a houseful of the local key people involved in the Filling Station – it was like a reunion! One lady, Hazel, a wonderful live-wire Christian in her 80s, who lived in Hailsham, East Sussex (one of my old ‘homes’) – and went to the same church as I’d been in, though a good few years later. We spent ages talking about mutual friends! A couple, Keith and Margaret, same names as my dear friends from Addlestone, Surrey: other folk who’d lived in Dudley, West Midlands – and who know good friends David and Margaret Champion…and so it went on….lunch, with all sorts of ‘Christian’ quetions, too, lasted about 4 hours! Then at 6 pm, it was down to the hall, in the middle of the town, for the meeting.
By start time, there must have been in excess of 60 people there – a little daunting when you’re alone to pray for people at the end! – and there’s a deadline on the time of getting out of the hall! That deadline came and went, and slid into history very quickly as the number of people wanting prayer never seemed to reduce…. I think we left the hall past midnight…. lots of people experienced God touching them, removing pain, changing things in their bodies, feeling heat, tingling, pins and needles – as the Holy Spirit began to heal them….
It was a great night: some lovely worship preceded a great testimony from a Kim, a man who’d been a Westminster Abbey chorister, and then tried everything the world could offer until God got on his case again….
It was so lovely to really get some time with Jonathan and Kathryn: it’s been a few years since we had that much time together, and I’d love to go back and be involved in Welshpool on a more regular basis. I really felt something for the town, and, of course, my heritage is Welsh, as my dad was born in South Wales,so it’s half home for me. To be in Worcester, and then Welshpool, was such a blessing.