Crusader Associate News
Included within: News of the Trustees Wembley update ‘Pass it on’ – to Edinburgh
Issue 14: Winter 2012
Communications can be sent to: Jo Slater, Editor, Associate News Urban Saints Support Centre Kestin House, 45 Crescent Road,
Luton, Beds, LU2 0AH Jo Slater: 01582 589833 email@example.com Tel: 01582 589850 Fax: 01582 721702 firstname.lastname@example.org www.URBANSAINTS.org www.crusadersreunited.org.uk Urban Saints is the operating name of The Crusaders’ Union, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England & Wales, company number 07771037, charity number 1144923, and in Scotland, charity number SCO39313.
Welcome from Jo
Welcome from Matt
From 1906 to 2006 Urban Saints was known as Crusaders
News of the Trustees
Pass It On - to North & East Africa
Associate News is protected by copyright and nothing within it may be reproduced wholly or in part without permission. The Editor reserves the right to edit all items submitted for inclusion. No contact details will be published without prior permission. Urban Saints values: Riotous FUN Being a Christian is not dull and boring! We believe that followers of Jesus should show the world how to really party.
Pounds and Pence
Pass It On - to Edinburgh
Field of Dreams
Adventurous FAITH Jesus doesn’t invite His followers to ‘play it safe’. He calls us into a radical, risk-embracing, world-changing, danger-accepting, servant-hearted adventure. So we wholeheartedly throw ourselves into the Father’s embrace, the Son’s mission, and the Spirit’s power. Genuine FRIENDSHIP Who wants to do stuff alone? Not us! We’re following Jesus with friends because we recognise we need each other. Life in all its FULLNESS God wants us to be fully alive. So we embrace a life of learning and growing in order to realise our Godgiven potential through a healthy rhythm of rest, play and work.
Front cover photo from Spree SE.
Welcome Make Every Word Count Jo Slater Supporters Director I had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments on Sunday. I was leading the 11-14 group at church and managed to quieten them down enough to spend about a minute or two doing ‘the serious bit’ at the end. I asked them to think about the first time they knew for themselves that Jesus is real and, if they weren’t able to say that, what would it take for them to know that Jesus is real? We managed a silence of what felt like quite a long time but was probably only 20-30 seconds. I said a prayer, and they all ran out the door. Later I remembered that one lad had brought a friend from school this week. This friend had never been to the group before. Maybe it was the first time he had ever really heard about Jesus. ‘What if,’ I thought, ‘that lad doesn’t come back to anything to do with Christianity for another five, ten, or 20 years? But what if he remembers my challenge to him this morning, and it sits in his heart for many years?’
We, however, have no idea what will be remembered and what will be forgotten. So the challenge to us is to make everything count - to keep challenging, to keep encouraging and to keep sowing seeds. I pray that lad will come back next week but, if he doesn’t, I pray he will remember my challenge to him. Either way, I pray that one day he will know for himself that Jesus is real.
It reminded me afresh that it’s all about sowing seeds. We never know what the young people will remember of what we say. And actually they will probably never remember any one particular thing we say, but more how we befriend them. And yet there will be occasions when our words do stick in their minds. I am sure we can all think of encouraging or challenging words people have said to us over the years which have remained with us.
Jo Slater Supporters Director
Welcome from Matt Pass It On – from 1858 to now… Matt Summerfield Chief Executive But one of those new Christians was a teenage boy called Billy Graham… who went on to lead literally millions of people to Jesus, all over the world. And one of those people who Billy Graham led to Christ was John Mercer who features in this edition of Associate News – and as you’ll discover John has gone on to lead many to Christ including Joe (whose story features with John on page 8-9).
It was 1858, and a Boston Sunday School teacher named Edward Kimball began visiting one of his students at a local shoe shop where the lad worked as a clerk. Through his faithful commitment Kimball eventually had the privilege of leading the young boy to Christ. The young man’s name was DL Moody. DL Moody grew up to become a powerful evangelist and some 21 years later found himself in London leading a great spiritual awakening. A local London minister by the name of FB Meyer went along to hear Moody preach and was profoundly moved and affected by God’s call on the man. Years later, Meyer found himself in the USA, where a young student by the name of J. Wilbur Chapman became a Christian at one of Meyer’s meetings.
It’s a powerful reminder that what we do today with this generation of children and young people affects generations to come where the power of the Gospel explodes from one generation to another. As I’ve just turned 42 years old I’m praying that in the next 40 or so years of my life I will see literally millions of young people come to know Jesus – who in turn will go on to lead tens of millions. I’m dreaming of generations and nations turning back to God.
Chapman became heavily involved in the YMCA, and during his time there, met and discipled a former baseball player called Billy Sunday. Billy Sunday became another great evangelist and during one of his crusades in a small town called Charlotte led many to Christ. The following year the people who had found Christ at the Billy Sunday crusades organised another crusade, inviting another eminent evangelist called Mordecai Ham to speak. Ham left the town three weeks later feeling discouraged due to the fact that only a handful of people had come to faith in Christ.
So dream with me. Pray with me. Stand with me. Because Jesus is building his church and we want to play our part. Matt Summerfield Chief Executive
Postage from the Support Centre
mates with whom you share life, and three people to whom you pass on the baton of faith.) Matt’s book ‘Don’t Make History, Change the Future – the call to live life 1-2-3’ has also been published. If you’d like a copy, do give us a call and we’d love to send you one – suggested minimum donation £3.
You will be aware of the increase in postage charges which have made a significant difference to our mailing costs. In order to reduce expenditure, we are now sending newsletters and mailings to you by email, if we have an email address for you. The Autumn edition of Engage, for example, was emailed to everyone unless we had no email address for you.
We are aiming to give away over 10,000 books next year for FREE to let people know about it. Please pray for Matt as he networks amongst Christian denominations and festivals to encourage people to embrace the value of Live Life 1-2-3. You can check this link here to find out if he is speaking at a church near you. www.urbansaints.org/dmhctf_tour
If you would rather receive all items through the post, even if you have given us your email address, do let us know and we will sort that out for you. Let us know too if you missed the Autumn edition of Engage, and would like a hard copy. This does not apply to Crusader Associate News and Pray4Change will be still be posted to everyone.
Centenary of Purley Crusaders
Purley Crusaders will be celebrating their Centenary on Sunday 3rd March 2013 at Christ Church Purley at 3pm. You’re warmly invited to attend the Service and the Celebration Tea afterwards. For further details please contact Richard and Liz Slade on 020-8660-9172 or email e.m.slade@ abdailey.org.uk
Live Life 1-2-3 update The Live Life 1-2-3 website is now up and running. Do have a look on www.livelife123. org and you can also watch the video here. (As a reminder, Live Life 1-2-3 is about having one person as your mentor from whom you learn, two people as your running 5
News of the Trustees You may already be aware that Peter Jeffrey is retiring as Chairman of Trustees at the end of the year. We are hugely grateful to him, and also to David Ralph who is stepping down. Both have given tremendous service over many years.
Statement from Peter Jeffrey:
Statement from Claire Murphy:
As you may remember I am due to retire as Chairman of Urban Saints at the end of the year having served for the maximum period of some 13 years.
I have 12 years of experience in youth work in both employment and voluntary roles, with churches, Christian organisations and in a school setting. I spent 8 years working with young people and children in a church, also co-ordinating town-wide church youth and children’s events. During this time I trained in Youth & Community Work, receiving the JNC and degree in 2004.
This has been an incredible 13 years and I will miss serving in this capacity but will continue to actively lead at Guildford and will be available to serve in any other capacity that the Board or Leadership Team feel is appropriate.
Following this appointment I spent 18 months working with at-risk students as a Behaviour Support Officer, running an upper school exclusion unit. Since September 2010 I have worked for Oasis College in the post of Lecturer in Youth & Community Work, teaching youth, children’s and family workers. I have recently completed a Masters in Youth Ministry, with my research project focused on organisational culture in youth ministry organisations.
I am delighted to announce that the Board has elected Claire Murphy to succeed me. During Claire’s time on the Board I have come to very much respect and value Claire’s thoughtful approach, which she brings to issues based on a first hand knowledge of frontline youth work. I very much believe that God has raised Claire up as Chair at just the right time.
Throughout my youth work experience, I have connected with Urban Saints in a variety of ways. I have been Chaplain on holidays, run programmes for SPREE, and used the Energize resources with my own youth group. Currently I help with the teaching on ReDefine weekends local to me, I engage with twice yearly leader training and use Kinetic material for training young leaders. I joined the Board of Trustees
Claire and I will be working on handover over the Autumn and I will be very much praying for Claire and the Board in the years ahead. Please do join me in congratulating Claire on her appointment. God Bless Peter 6
in January 2011, and have held the role of joint Vice Chair for one year. Avice Hall
I am greatly looking forward to taking on the role of Chair for the Urban Saints Board of Trustees. It is a privilege to have this opportunity and I would ask for your prayers as I lead the Board forward into this next chapter.
Tony Obayori Claire Murphy - Chair from January 2013 Paddy Overy
Trustees from January 2013: Vice-Chair â€“ to be decided at December meeting
Ali Tomkins Phil Broadhurst Mark Russell Ken Butler Neil Walker Deb Goodhead 7
‘Pass It On’ – to North and East Africa
Indians in the jungle because I wanted some left for me to go to and tell about Jesus. I was afraid they would all be saved by the time I grew up.
Matt’s story on page four talks of the baton of faith being passed on from generation to generation, all the way from Edward Kimball in 1858, down to Billy Graham. In November 1955 Billy Graham was preaching at Cambridge University. It was there that Dr John Mercer gave his life to Christ. John has been a leader at Sandbach since 1962 – an impressive fifty years of service.
Doc Mercer discipled me from that time. I saw him ‘one to one’ in mid-week for Bible Study (sometimes with another lad), on a Friday night when we had a games evening and Bible study/short prayer meeting, on Sunday mornings at our Crusader Sunday service and then again in the evening when we (as Crusaders) conducted a youth service in some unsuspecting church. Also I saw Doc every Saturday because he ran Sandbach Crusader football team. I saw him five times a week!
One of the young people in Sandbach Crusaders was Joe Jones, who picks up the baton with the next part of the story. Dr John Mercer, one of the founders of Nefyn Crusader Camp and of Sandbach Crusaders, was the person instrumental in me giving my life to the Lord. In 1969 (I was ten years old) he convinced me to go on an Easter Crusader camp at St Chad’s School, Prestatyn, North Wales. Here I gave my life to the Lord. On my return to Sandbach, Doc Mercer followed up on his new disciple. He came to our house and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was thinking astronaut, footballer etc but I said I wanted to be a missionary in Africa. Doc started to tell me about Nick Saint and Jim Ellliot and their sacrifice for the gospel and the work being done in the Amazon. This really did something inside my heart and I was very excited. He went on to say how the work to the unreached people of the Amazon was progressing very well.
Doc asked me to go on Nefyn camps and I was on camps from 1974 to 1981. I was both a camper and a leader. My wife and I left for Africa in 1982. My wife and returned in 2010 and we were on Nefyn C camp this year (E camp last year).
Lads from Llanddwywe camp 2012
Doc was/is my spiritual father and a lot of what I do and how I do it, is a result of him. The Bible says we ‘have many teachers but not many fathers’. Fathers are important
That night I asked God NOT to save all the 8
the respect and acceptance Doc showed me.
because they bring stability, comfort, wisdom and balance; they provide an inheritance, a heritage, a name and an identity; they give acceptance, love and protection. There is a big difference between a spiritual orphan or spiritual street child and someone who has a spiritual father. The anointing passed down from Doc to me, I pass on to others. My disciples in Africa do what Doc Mercer does â€“ and they have never met him. Â In South Africa we were pastors in Hillbrow (the centre of Johannesburg and noted as a red light, drug, and criminal district) for seven years and we discipled the believers as Doc had taught, going to their homes, teaching them to pray, worship and read the word every morning. Doc used the Navigators material on me. We treat our disciples with
Since being in East Africa, from 1997, my wife and I have been responsible for starting a church planting mission, discipling 12 indigenous missionaries and 5 foreign missionaries in 12 countries in Africa. We have planted hundreds of churches. Currently 200 pastors/churches relate to us. We have 13 Moslem background believer churches in North and East Africa. We are the only Christian witness to 2 different tribal groups in North Sudan. Â We give glory to God and we thank God for Doc. He has a great legacy and we hope to be found faithful in passing this legacy on.
Joe Jones 9
Wembley God calls a Gideon Army of 300 from the 32,000
Photo: Jordan Mary NDOP Wembley
to see unity, prayer and transformation outworked across their areas over the next 3 years: • 2012 - Unity: Young people uniting the church across our towns and cities • 2013 - Prayer: Young people leading us in a year of unbroken prayer for our nation • 2014 - Transformation: Young people mobilising the church to transform our communities
It was such a privilege to be part of the National Day of Prayer and Worship at Wembley Stadium on Sat 29th Sept. It was truly amazing, and we believe a significant day for the youth of our nation. The releasing of a Gideon Army of young people was a memorable part of the day for all who were there. Following a passionate reading of Ezekiel 37:1-10 (the valley of the dry bones) by Seth Pinnock, an army of nearly 300 young people in red hoodies walked down from the stands onto the edge of the Wembley pitch. These young people were from 15 areas of the nation that have already signed up to take part in a vision
In Judges 6 and 7, when Gideon blew his trumpet, 32,000 warriors from all over Israel came to stand with Gideon to fight for their nation, but God chose to use just 300 to 10
“My favourite moment - Almost 300 young people streaming down the aisles of Wembley dressed in red hoodies to surround the pitch was an amazing sight. Knowing that each one was committed to unity, prayer and transformation of their communities made it even more profound and the sense that God would use them for something significant in our nation was tangible.” Liz Doré (Team Director)
bring the victory. What we didn’t know on Sat 29th Sept was that 32,000 people would respond to the call to come to Wembley Stadium to stand together in praying for our nation. How fantastic is that – the Gideon army of 300 young people came out of the 32,000 that had gathered at Wembley. As the young people in red hoodies stood around the edge of the pitch, other young people in the stadium were invited to stand as representatives of the youth of our nation. Then we offered up our young people to God as an Old Testament ‘wave offering’ which was marked by seven Mexican waves.
“After four hours I was mightily impressed by the sheer exuberance that emitted from both the stage and those in the stalls. We prayed and we prayed - God could not fail to hear the volume. Both Matt Summerfield and Phil Hulks reminded us that God does not regard “The Youth” as “The Next Generation” to share the gospel, but that they are the generation for today.” Michael Gunn-Smith (Associate)
Someone once said, in the same way that a young lad led Samson to the pillars which is where he got his strength back, the youth of our nation will lead the church back to the place where it will receive back its God-given calling and anointing. We believe that is true. Young people are a catalyst for what God is about to do across our nation. So we are inviting churches from another 37 areas of the nation (making a total of 52 areas in all – one for each week of 2013) to release their young people to lead us in outworking unity, prayer and transformation across their area.
“The national day of prayer was one of the best experiences of my Christian life, to be in a stadium that big, packed out with people just like me, all gathered to praise and worship as one united Church together! Another amazing experience was when I was given the opportunity to take part in the Gideon’s army. I had the opportunity to go down to the pitch side and worship God in front of the whole stadium! It was a truly life changing experience that will stay with me forever!” Jack Bolton (17)
To find out how the young people from churches in your area can be part of this vision, go to www.hope-revolution. com/united and follow the link to ‘sign up to prayer in 2013,’ or phone me on 07904 528289. Phil Hulks Cluster Development Director 11
Group News Praise God for 104 groups newly connecting to us in the five months from June to October 2012. As at the end of October, we are now serving 1,059 groups. Aberdeen Bucksburn Aberdeen Sheddocksley Abergavenny Cornerstone Addiscombe Baptist Alton The Butts Battersea St Peters Bicester Emmanuel Bideford St Marys Birmingham Northfield Bournemouth Lansdowne Bradford Wyke Brighton Church on the Rock Bristol Elim Brough South Cave Broxburn Busy Builth Group of Parishes Bury St Edmunds Southgate Caerphilly Trethomas Castleford Cutsyke Chester All Saints Chester Queen Street Chinnor Congregational Chippenham Sheldon Road Crawley Community Crawley Kingdom Faith Derby City Diss Botesdale Ditcham Park School Dunmurry Kingsway Dursley Enniskillen Presbyterian Fivemiletown St Johns Fleet Baptist
Glasgow United Free Church of Scotland Gloucester Christchurch Gravesend Emmanuel Guernsey Trinity Halesowen Cradley Harrow St Peters Haywards Heath Ruwach Herne Bay Salvation High Wycombe Kings High Wycombe St Annes and St Peters Hitchin Christchurch Holland Horsham Life Community Huddersfield Oakes Ilford St Andrews Ipswich Colchester Road Isle of Skye - Portree Keighley Utley Keynsham St Johns Killingworth Community Killyman Parish Kingswood Bourne Lancaster Sanctuary Lancaster St Thomas Leeds Bridge Street Leicester Trinity Life Lewes Kings London Beacon London Chinese New Soho Loughton St Marys Malvern All Saints
Morecambe and Heysham New Addington Baptist New Barnet St James Newcastle City Northampton Youth Ministry Nottingham West Bridgford St Giles Old Colwyn English Oxford Headington Oxford St Matthews Penryn Highway Peterborough the Zone Plymouth Methodist Pontypridd St Catherine Reading Greyfriars Reigate St Marys Ruddington St Peters Rutland Oakham South Ockendon Kings Family Southampton Dibden Southfields St Michaels Southsea St Simons Spennymoor Trinity Stafford Rising Brook Stockton on Tees Portrack Stroud CF Sudbury Stour Valley Surbiton Emmanuel Sutton Coldfield Wylde Green Sutton Vineyard Tadcaster Tiverton Blundells Torpoint Grace
Totnes UF Twickenham All Souls Welwyn Salvation for the Nations West London Hope Community
West Norwood Chatsworth Witham Wood Green Braemar Avenue York Elim
Girls from Llanddwywe camp 2012
We also sadly saw nine groups close who had been connected to us for more than ten years: Buckhurst Hill 1951 Carshalton 21CC 1990 Dunchurch 1965 Lincoln TCM 2002 Merstham 1973 Normandy 1997 Oadby 1994 Rossett 1997 St Andrews 1994 13
Pounds and Pence Where does the money come from, and where does it go? For those of you interested in the financial details of Urban Saints, we thought you may be interested to see this information on the 2011 figures. For more detail, do ask for a copy of the annual accounts (or if you have lost your magnifying glass and would like a larger copy!).
Volunteer Support £186,702 7%
Residential Centres and Core Activities (Holidays, Events, ReBuild) £752,917 29%
Legacies £111,594 4% General Donations £486,864 19%
Major trusts/donors £291,629 11%
Other voluntary income and interest £326,481 12%
Urban Saints group, area and region activities £469,392 18%
International Development £40,090 Communications & Design 2% £159,016 6%
Governance Costs £88,979 Costs of generating. Voluntary Income 3% £158,394 6%
Urban Saints group, area and region activities £472,881 18%
Volunteer Support £782,724 30%
Residential Centres and Core Activities (Holidays, Events, Rebuild) £907,391 35%
‘Pass It On’ - to Edinburgh
Most of us have been privileged to benefit from a rich heritage in Crusaders / Urban Saints. This has been due to people faithfully passing on what they have learnt and entrusting it to others, as we are told in 2 Timothy 2:2. This inspiring testimony is from Mary Graham, Helen Miller and Fiona Tweedie in Edinburgh, who all heard the message and passed it on to the next generation.
Helen Miller’s story: I became a Christian at SU camp more than 50 years ago. There are people I remember who very much ‘walked the walk’ and made me realise they had something more than the ‘head knowledge’ I had. Two years after I first became a Christian I went to camp with a friend who was a Crusader (and the Camp Leader – Mary Graham - just happened to lead a certain Edinburgh Crusader Class) and I decided to come to Crusaders myself. It was later that year, thanks to the teaching I received, that I became challenged to grow in my faith and acknowledge the Lordship of Christ too. My years as a Crusader along with further Camps were so valuable in giving me the Bible teaching which has been my ‘rock’. I was thrilled to be asked to teach a group in Crusaders and my involvement in leadership continued over a number of years.
Mary Graham’s story: My story in Crusaders began when my much older sister took me in 1939 to Edinburgh Trinity Class where she was an Assistant Leader. Transport was very difficult in the war years so it was then that I was taken to Edinburgh West aged about six as it met within walking distance. The class at that time met in a lovely drawing room and was quite depleted as many girls had been evacuated out of the city. Gradually folk returned and numbers grew so we relocated to a nearby church (where we stayed until 1996!). Before long the Class grew in number to a peak of 144 and competed numerically with Sutton, Surrey! We were led by two remarkable leaders who prayed and prayed for every girl by name at their weekly prayer and planning meeting. I cannot name a day when I became a Christian but was nurtured and encouraged all along ‘life’s way’.
With regard to discipling, the person who comes to my mind most is my cousin’s daughter who has always been close to me. I took her to her first camp, discipled her, supported her through her mum’s final illness and have tried to ‘be there for her’ whenever necessary. She herself has now been ordained into the ministry and is now very much involved in evangelism and outreach and so the chain continues!
I became a class helper, then Assistant Leader, co-leader and in 1968 became Leader for a further 26 years. It was a big and hard decision to ‘retire’ but I have remained in contact. 15
‘Pass It On’ - to Edinburgh she cooked for. Helen was always lots of fun to be with and had such a positive and joyful outlook on life. She also became particularly important after my mother died shortly after my 17th birthday, as a link to my mother, able to answer my questions about her. Helen also encouraged me with my later involvement in SU camps, cooking on various occasions and also helping to lead. For the last few years my family has come with my husband and I as we act as group leaders at Easter SU camps. I’m now ordained as (the first) Ordained Local Minister in the Church of Scotland, exercising a ministry of mission facilitation across the City of Edinburgh. My present work does not allow me to stay for very long with people, but from the people that I have discipled in one way or another I would say to pray for God to show you the gifts and skills that God has given them.
The most vital thing is prayer. I have realised more and more how much has happened in my own life as the result of prayerful friends and mentors and know it is the basis of effective discipling. I think it is also very important to keep one’s own walk with God close - without it what we say and do are not going to be effective.
Fiona Tweedie’s story: I was always inspired by my mother’s cousin, my Aunt Helen, who helped with Crusaders and Scripture Union. I attended SU groups at school and a Crusaders group at St Catherine’s Argyle church in Edinburgh. Helen took me to a pony-trekking SU camp at Dunbar that
With Christ Bill Blackler (1935 to 2012) He married his wife Joan, in Watford in 1960, and later had two children, Simon & Chris, in 1965 & 1967. Bill led Elim churches in Cornwall, Finchley and Thornton Heath for a total of 40 years
Bill grew up in Glastonbury, in Somerset which was where he gained his loves of fishing and traditional Somerset cider. Following a brief career with Shell in the early fifties, Bill felt called to the ministry and moved to London where he started at the Elim Bible College in 1958. 16
With Christ Our young people (who often saw anyone ten years older than themselves as old and out of touch) regularly referred to Bill as “Super Cool” and that, in their minds, “He knew everything about everything”. Some other comments we have had from young people who knew Bill through his leadership at Thornton Heath Urban Saints were that; “Bill was incredibly wise, he had an answer for any question. Bill always had brilliant stories to tell and above all he was always smiling. We shall all miss Bill, what earth has lost, the heavens have gained”. God Bless Bill.
in the ministry – 28 of them in Thornton Heath – until his retirement in 2000. Bill joined the leadership team at Thornton Heath Urban Saints group when he retired from his role as Minister of the Thornton Heath Elim Church. Bill very quickly became an integral and valuable part of the team. He had an incredible gift of being able to get alongside and connect with all generations. Bill gave his time willingly and always went the extra mile with his pastoral care, connecting with parents and extended families as well as the young people who attended the group. He had the knack of being able to command respect without being at all judgmental.
Simon Blackler, Son
Squadron Leader Michael Cole (1935 to 2012) Michael Cole was an RAF physical education officer who turned his experience of running expeditions and leadership training for officer cadets to the purposes of Christian mission. In the last four decades of his life he mobilised thousands of young people from the UK, including many Crusaders, to stretch themselves in life-changing endeavour amongst the poorest of the poor in the developing world.
who travelled to Peru and Bolivia. Fellow Crusader leader Douglas Edmonds was Mike’s field leader for the young people’s projects in Bolivia. STEP rapidly expanded from those countries into Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina and in 1990 to Nicaragua. Some 2,000 young people were involved in the first decade and STEP remains today as a fruitful project all over Latin America.
Mike initiated STEP, the short-term mission programme of Latin Link in 1987 which included an active partnership for a number of years with Crusoe teams
Mike was born in Enfield, London in 1935. His parents were not church-goers, but he was attracted to join the local Crusaders group, because they had nets on their goal 17
continued on the next page
With Christ Squadron Leader Michael Cole (1935 to 2012) in Christian life and ministry they had given him. He also deeply appreciated the support of many individual former Crusaders who encouraged him in his many ‘adventures with a purpose’ to the world’s most remote communities. These included five major hovercraft expeditions.
posts. Eric Howe, a deacon at Winchmore Hill Baptist Church invited Mike and other young local young people to Sunday evening socials in their home. Mike was converted and in time became a youth leader at the church and with Crusaders, including camps in Norfolk and the Isle of Wight. Mike maintained good links with Crusaders throughout his life, highly valuing the start
Nick Cole, Son
Philip Harding (1929 to 2012) had become very small and immediately started enthusiastic recruiting. His parents had considerable influence in the local Quaker boarding school and this helped in arranging a mammoth ‘squash’ to which boarders were invited and quite a number responded to this invitation to attend the group. Philip soon became an Elected Leader and for some years served on the London General Committee.
Philip was converted as a very young boy, mainly through the influence of his mother. He joined Lisburn (Northern Ireland) Crusaders at about eight years of age and thus began a very happy and fruitful relationship which was to last for some forty-five years. He went to his first Crusader houseparty in 1942 at Rosapenna in Co Donegal. The quality and Christian manliness of the officers made a very deep impression on him. He found their sense of fun and good humour most attractive and as a result he made a very clear resolve that this was the sort of Christian he wanted to be.
He was also involved in Northern Ireland Camps and House Parties and Lisburn boys enjoyed a number of happy house parties which he organised for the group. He was a keen yachtsman and on his beloved Strangford Lough there were many
On returning to Lisburn from boarding school in York, he found that the Crusader group 18
through ill health earlier than he would have liked. The Lord greatly blessed his commitment to Crusaders and over the years a number of boys came to know the Lord, which was the object of all Philip’s efforts.
enjoyable Crusader sailing days. He was very diligent in visiting any potential Crusaders and managed to get to know many boys really well and a mutually happy relationship was enjoyed. The average attendance of the group was sixty five to seventy in the 1970s. Philip was very reluctantly forced to retire
Julia Whittaker, Daughter
Douglas Parnell (1917 to 2012) walks and games, this time in Epping Forest, and also to the Essex coast where many boys enjoyed helping him sail his dinghy. Douglas was always a boy amongst boys and their home continued to be used for hospitality and discussions as their home in Wolverhampton had been used so many years before.
Douglas was born one of 5 children, in Wolverhampton. His first job was an apprentice draughtsman at Guy Motors (Lorries) and hen on to Sunbeam Motors (Trolley Buses and Lorries) where he met Joan Edwards who he married in 1943. They had 3 children Geoffrey, Valerie and Tim. In those days there were 2 elected leaders - Douglas Parnell and Marcel Noel, and 3 assistant leaders - Brian Sherwood, Ron Jenks and myself, and we had tremendous fun in building up the group to a point where we had to rent another hall to cope with the numbers.
He was active in his local church throughout his life and, despite limiting health issues, his great humility was recognised both in the church and in the community. As the wife of one of his co-leaders expressed it, ‘Only God himself can assess the value of Douglas’s work for Him. The seeds of faith may take years to germinate but Douglas’s faith and love for God touched the lives of many young and old’.
Douglas moved to Loughton in 1958 when he changed jobs to work for Ford Motor Company where he stayed until he retired in 1981. He joined the leaders of the local Crusader group in Loughton, rarely missing an afternoon meeting. The wife of one of his co-leaders has remarked on the assiduous visiting of boys who were either ill or whose attendance was erratic, in spite of the fact that he had very little time and an energy consuming job. As he had done in Wolverhampton, so in Loughton he organised
His wife Joan died in 1993 but he remained active and continued with Crusaders until the local group closed. He died 1st July 2012. Rob Hudson, Associate, with thanks to Valerie Nielsen, daughter, and Nesta Williams. 19
Field of Dreams - A Parent’s Perspective on Camp We all have hopes for our children and grandchildren - that they’ll find Christ and even more so that, as they progress in their journey of faith, they experience transformation in their lives too. The team from Kidz Klub Bradford received this email from one parent after taking part in this summer’s Urban Saints’ Nefyn camps programme: Attending camp was a last-minute decision this year. My husband was made redundant and we weren’t able to afford a holiday this summer. But the grandparents offered to pay for the kids to go on the Nefyn camp. The kids weren’t sure at first but by the time we picked them up at the end of the week, they were very upset to leave. They had had an amazing time, felt very at safe and at home, and would desperately miss their friends. A few days later, one of them said he’d decided to follow Jesus! Since then he’s joined in singing in church for the first time.
His hearing has improved to the extent that we’ve been able to put away his hearing aids for the first time in five years. He’s a lot more confident and has joined in other things since he would not do before camp. Our daughter had an amazing time as well and it helped to give her confidence at school. Being a bit older she’s taken on board a lot of the family challenges but at Nefyn she met girls with other problems which helped her to stop worrying about our situation. My husband’s now got a job - Thank you God! Camp for my kids has been a sane interlude in a crazy year, where they met God’s word and fun. Thank you Urban Saints and your team of leaders! You can read the full message at the Kidz Klub Bradford website (www.kkbradford. co.uk) and a big thank you to them for passing on this great story!
Urban Saints is the operating name of The Crusaders’ Union, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England & Wales, company number 07771037, charity number 1144923, and in Scotland, charity number SCO39313. From 1906 to 2006 Urban Saints was known as Crusaders 20