'If anyman is in Christ he is a NEW CREATION'

The change of direction


I am in a minority group. I am a Christian. Please don't think less of me for that as each of us have our beliefs and I would always respect that. My pages concerning my faith and service are produced not to 'bible bash' but to give an honest account of what has happened to me. Neither, because I am a Christian do I for one moment consider myself in any respect superior to any fellow human being that may profoundly disagree with my sentiments.


I wondered aimlessly in the RN for years. At approx 7.45pm on a dark Nov 5th 1969 my life was changed forever. I was at HMS Mercury and met with the Living Lord Jesus Christ and was convinced and converted to His Service. I knelt before God and acknowledged my wrongdoing - my prayer was short but meaningful - it might sound trite but that evening I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour....I was serving the Queen and now I was serving the KING! See Faith page. The rest of the night I spent reading John's gospel account and couldn't take it in that it was written for me! The next morning I was telling everyone!! Of course they thought I had flipped because this was entirely outside their frame of reference.

Before I joined my last ship HMS Soberton, I made myself known to the Naval Christians in Portsmouth - there was and still is a very strong and supportive group of Naval Christians see.. http://www.navalcf.org  

 It was here in Pompey that I met someone who was to be my Wife and Soul mate. May's Father had worked as a Missionary to the Navy for a number of years after coming down from Glasgow. May had helped her Mother look after Sailors that her father brought home - she cooked, entertained and gave any Counselling she could to help.  She was a lovely Christian girl, whom I fell in love with (by the way she is still as lovely as ever was!) and married in 1971 in Portsmouth at Devonshire Avenue Baptist Church. 

We committed our lives in service to Christ - I spent the next year and a half up in Scotland, whilst May remained in Pompey. We snatched weekends whenever we could. I witnessed as a Christian to my shipmates on Soberton. This was time of strenghtening and study. I had my own Radio Office which meant it was quite waiting for signals so I studied Theology and avidly read Puritan books whenever I could. I enjoyed my time on 'Soby' see SHIPS  

After leaving the Navy I did a couple of jobs. I worked in a Bespoke Tailors then became a Residential Child Care worker together with May.  Then I was summond once again - this time not by the Queen but by the King. To show how God makes the wisdom of this world foolish He decided that He wanted me to serve Him as a Missionary to the Navy. Maybe He thought that as He had given me lots of Naval experience and May was equally as experienced in a different way so He decided to put it to good use. Anyway the call was so strong And God was obviously keen that we followed. 

'Aggies' Singapore

We applIed to Dame agnes Weston's ROYAL SAILORS' RESTS which was then an Evangelical Mission to reach Sailors and Wrens. We had no qualifications and were in our early 20's so humanly speaking had no chance. But the Board of Trustees under Sir Horace Law (related to Lord Nelson) they considered that our Naval experience and zeal was just what was needed and we were in. We trained at Capernwray Bible school n were sent Eight thousand miles to 'Aggies' in 'Singers' (Singapore). There we were Missionaries to the Forces. Visiting Ships, Establishments and Military Hospitals to tell people about Christ.During that time we saw many young men and women become Christians. The RSR in Singapore comprised of 120 beds, Swimming pool, Restaurant and games rooms for the `Servicemen and women. We were visited by many US, Australian/ NZ sailors. I took Services and led mid-week studies and taught local dockyard workers the Bible. May taught sailor's children led wives and Wrns Bible studies. This was a great time for May and I and a great honour to serve like this. It gave us the opportunity to travel to Malasia and visit other Missionaries and Christian workers.

Small group of sailors and families
May working with the children
John teaching in the Mission
Teaching on the beach
Baptising in the Straits
Studying and preparing
Outside our flat
Teaching the local dockyard Apprentice boys

The Withdrawal

Waving goodbye to the Fleet as they leave Singapore

Harold Wilson decided to pull out the Navy from Singapore. This was a sad time for May and I. We had made many friends and loved our work. But we had to return. 

We saw that what was needed for further minsterial training to become more effective. The RSR asked us to stay, but go to Theological College, and then return to them. This we agreed to do. We did our degree course at Trinity Theological College Bristol http://www.trinity-bris.ac.uk under the leadership of the Rev Alec Motyer and Dr. Jim Packer. We both studied and graduated and were sent up to Scotland to open a 'new work' at Rosyth, starting a 'Home from Home' for Sailors and Wrens with the usual visitation to ships in the Dockyard.

Rosyth RSR

This was another exciting ministry. We met with International sailors and later were able to visit some of them in the US and Greece where we were able to take meetings and speak about Christ.

We were very much involved during the Falkland Conflict supporting the wives and families of those sailors on Rosyth based ships.


More to follow - under construction

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Latest comments

12.12 | 09:27

Is that you ‘Scratch’? - I think we starred in it it - no idea what happened to the Yorkshire TV film. Probably banned nowadays due to the title!!
John (Joe)

12.12 | 02:36

any one know about the film Show Me Your Cod end

31.07 | 21:38

Hi John

Thanks for the mention...really pleased you like my ties. I have also designed a range of boutonniere's and waistcoats to compliment my ties.

24.12 | 12:44

Hi Neil
Can you please send me your e-mail so I can send you a PDF

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