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A Pastor In Peril

Reflections on Christianity, Congregationalism and Cancer

Having reached the age of 75 and survived oesophageal cancer and being the pastor of the oldest non-conformist chapel in Norwich, which was founded in 1643, I felt God was calling me to write a book on my reflections. I now have a literary agent and she suggested that I write it first as a blog, so here goes.

I nearly didn’t make it

I guess for most of life is a struggle. My struggles began in 1948. My late parents were married during the Second World War and found like many couples that my mother was not able to conceive. They prayed and prayed and eventually against all the odds I was born when my mother was 33 years old.

I wonder what stories were told about your birth. I was told many about mine. For example, out of the women that were giving birth when I was born, I was the only baby to be born alive. However, seventy years ago I was born with a rather rare blood group, and it was touch and go as to whether I was going to survive. My parents had someone standing by who had the right blood group and was willing to give his blood if I needed a transfusion.

Over the years as a counsellor and as a pastor I have had many people retell me the stories of their birth. Hearing some have caused me great sorry as it became very apparent that they were never wanted. How I thank God that the stories I heard about my own birth have left a deep impression on me that I was very much wanted, and I was made to feel special. Such deep thoughts have helped to sustain me during many of the struggle’s life has presented me.

Before we finish today let’s take a moment to reflect on the birth of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. The forces of evil were out to destroy Him, but God was watching over Him and made a way for Him to be safe. Over my 75 years I have had an overwhelming sense that God has been watching over me. I pray that you have also had the same feeling.

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