The daily life of the church consumed us as a family. And I have to say I loved it!
Because of our doctrinal emphasis we were separated from the world. We were not allowed TV, to visit cinemas, play games on a Sunday etc. The church programme filled the gaps! I would attend six services on a Sunday as I grew up in my teens.
There was Boy Covenanters at 10, Breaking of bread, main meeting at 11, an interdenominational Boys Bible class in town at 2, pre evening service prayer meeting at 6, evening service at 6:30, either outreach in the summer, or youth fellowship at 8. In the summer there was an open air and tract distribution in the surrounding villages at 6:30 and an open-air service on the sea front promenade at 8, after the hotels emptied for their evening walk. There would often be crowds listening and it was there I played trumpet with my friends who also had trumpets, trombone, accordions and a saxophone. It was there I first preached as well. My great friends Nick and Nigel Prentice both played trumpet and we would often play together as a trumpet trio, especially around Christmas time in the hotels etc. Nick and Nigel will appear later in my story.
In the months of May and September special outreaches were arranged for the pensioners who came to Eastbourne on their holidays. Nick Prentice’s dad, an elder of the church alongside my father and several others, organised for the local council to bus the people up to the church from their hotels for an hour’s evening meeting. We would sing the old, familiar hymns, have testimonies, choir pieces and then a short evangelistic word. This continued for years until the council stopped the events, being unable to continue to provide the necessary bus transport. Many people responded over the years and many of them returned year by year. It was one of the most successful outreaches I have ever witnessed.