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- Recording of Granville's testimony.


Some of you know I do a lot of travelling, right back to my teenage years, and I’ve never tried to tally up the number of hours I’ve been in a plane but it’s got to be quite an awesome number. I pray before I travel and it’s very hard to talk about a negative, when things don’t happen. Because I don’t know what didn’t happen, if you understand me. All I know is what did happen: that in all my travels there was a sense of God being with me and taking me through stuff – all the security stuff these days and the rest of it. the only thing I can think of was when I was actually flying was I was on one of the last planes out of Heathrow when the Icelandic volcano went up, so I was marooned in New York because the rest of the party I was supposed to be with didn’t come and join me; it’s just the way things worked out. Actually it was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had in my life. I spent time in Washington and was then transferred to New York and had time there before coming home.

But as well as flying, I’ve also done a lot of driving through the years, and some of you know that I had and drove minibuses for about thirteen years which involved with youth work in the church here and the older people’s work. And for me, I’ve got a very practical God: He gets involved with stuff that’s very practical and just two things crossed my mind. One is that many years ago I took a young lady from Ruislip that we vaguely knew needed some counselling, needed someone to talk to, and I took her all the way across to the Forest Hill area. In those days I knew a guy called Roger Forster who now runs the Icthus church, involved with the Icthus church, and he talked to her.

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And then before coming home I said, “Let’s pray.” It was late at night, early morning – I said “Let’s pray for a safe journey home.” So I did, and in those days I was living in Mahlon Avenue; the other end from Sheila and as we swung in out of Edwards Avenue into my road I couldn’t change gear and really just drifted to opposite where I lived and the next morning when I got stuff sorted I found the bolt had dropped out of the clutch mechanism and everything was loose underneath. But it must have been hanging on a thread all the way from Forest Hill to home, and dropped out just as I turned into my own road.

Something else in those days: we went up on a mission to Gateshead with some of the young people from here and we met some people there who were coming down a little while later into Victoria coach station. “Oh, could you pick us up and take us to south London?” “Yes, no problem.” Except when I got to Victoria coach station I suddenly realised, I don’t know if you’ve been up there, but it’s a very big place, and it’s got more than one entrance and I suddenly realised I did not know whereabouts I was ever going to find in this big place, this small group of people who had just come down from Gateshead. And, so, I did what I usually do and said, “Lord, just show me where to pick them up.” I turned in, picked one entrance, turned in, and I’m just gone in. there’s coaches everywhere: it’s a big coach station these big things, and my little minibus going in there, and suddenly there’s a bang, bang, bang on my window on the side and someone waving to me who I recognise. They’re right there, right place, right time, and I couldn’t have planned it if I’d tried to. So, yes, ‘thus far The Lord has helped’ Granville Anthony Richards.



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