A Young Local Preacher Recalls 2 , Arthur Harvey

Home » News » A Young Local Preacher Recalls 2 , Arthur Harvey
Preacher-Cartoon

In the 1940's, during the War, chapel goers in the Leicester, Derby and Staffordshire borders certainly spoke their minds. They also liked things done, as the Bible puts it, 'decently and in order'.

I found this out when I first went to preach at Measham chapel. In common with all small rural Methodist chapels, this one had a Superintendent. His name was Johnnie Boobier. He was probably about sixty years old and he sported a large bushy beard. Under his jacket, he wore a waistcoat with a heavy gold chain across his ample chest. At the end of this chain, in one of his pockets, was a large gold watch.

Because of the black-out and I suspect, because of the shortage of preachers, the Service at Measham chapel was on a Sunday afternoon at three o'clock. I turned up in good time and was greeted by Johnnie. He then took his place in the front row beneath the small pulpit.

At two minutes to three I mounted the steps and took my seat in the pulpit. The congregation was few in number. When the chapel clock pointed exactly at three o'clock I stood up to begin the service. Johnnie pulled out his gold watch and his voice boomed forth, 'Hold on, lad, b'ain't time yet!' Johnnie was in command, the preacher did as he was told. After about thirty seconds Johnnie said ' OK lad, you mun start now!'

All went well after that. At least Johnnie didn't prompt me again. When he gave out the notices he said 'we welcome Arthur Harvey as our preacher' and went on to add 'Arthur is a Baptist ', as if to imply that Baptists were a rank lower than Methodists! Yet in those war torn years The Methodist Circuit would have fallen apart without characters like Johnnie who served so faithfully. Baptists, and others like them, just had to make a few allowances here and there.

Arthur Harvey Recalls edited by Helen Jesty

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Crafternoon 1
Alton Webteam: Sun 09 Dec 10:18am

The 'Crafternoon' held at the Church was a great success as people gathered to enjoy one another's company, make Christmas crafts, sing some carols and enjoy a Christmas tea — much of which was provided by Sainsbury's Community Outreach. Oh... and Father Christmas made an early appearance...

Messy Church Pic Dec 18
Alton Webteam: Wed 05 Dec 9:27am

Messy Church is now held on the first Saturday of the month during term time.We had a great time at our Christmas Messy Church with lots of children and families enjoying a whole variety of activities. We began with table games and refreshments, an intense game matching Christmas Card halves, listening to the advent story and then choosing from a variety of interactive crafts ranging from...

Santa Run edit
Alton Webteam: Mon 03 Dec 9:24am

What a fantastic effort from Liam, Steve and Pete as they represented the Methodist Church in the Santa Run.Running in the team race they crossed the finishing tape to the cheers of the watching crowd. Not only that but they each entered the individual race which was three times as long... with Liam coming in an exceptionally good fourth place and Steve and Pete not too far behind. Well...