No. 1107

Opening Date October 1887

War Cry Report, 12th November 1887, Page 13

Opening of Godmanchester which is near Huntingdon, in fact almost part of it being only separated by the River Ouse. The population is something between two and three thousand. It has its churches and its chapels, and, of course, its public houses; it even boasted of its Primrose League, but until last Saturday it lacked one thing, it had no salvation army. “I’m glad you’re coming” said an old woman to me some two weeks before; “We want some life here.” And so people who had never seen The Army seem instinctively to understand that it is closely associated with life. A most striking testimony indeed. We have secured a part of a barn, which after being repaired and cleaned and fitted with a platform, makes a real Salvation Army Barracks holding about 200 people. We opened on Saturday night, the attacking party from a human point of view, was by no means formidable, numbering about a dozen.

The little place was crammed to suffocation at the opening meeting with the roughest of the neighbourhood, the very class we are after. “You’ve emptied the public houses tonight, sir” and a man in drink, as I stood up to speak, a remark which was received with general applause. God grant that many people never meet each other in the public houses again! It was perfectly wonderful how the people flocked all day Sunday, not only from Godmanchester, but from the surrounding villages, to hear and see The Salvation Army. The landlord came to me just before the evening meeting, trembling with fear, and said, “Do you know there are at least Two Thousand people in the lane unable to get in?”

There has never been such crowds here before inside, a most powerful meeting was held. Oh, How they listened as we talked to them of heaven and hell, of sin and judgement, of Calvary and Calvary’s.

Victim! The hall was emptied more than once, only to be filled again. A blessed work of salvation was begun. A work which, by God’s grace shall never cease till the saviour comes.

W.S. Heathcock