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Trafalgar Square

December 2000 | by Eddie Powell

Noah preached righteousness and warned an indifferent people that they would be judged by a great flood. Following that flood, a rainbow appeared, as God promised never again to destroy the world by water.

Early on Saturday 14 October, a rainbow beamed over Central London. The previous week had seen the beginnings of the worst flooding in the UK since 1953. The inclement weather, however, did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Gospel Ministries team, as they set out, once again, to bring the light of the gospel to the heart of London. This was their eighth rally in Trafalgar Square.

The preachers, speaking in turn, reasoned with the crowd from the Scriptures, using gripping illustrations. The gospel was preached in Urdu by Robin Asgher. There were Bible readings by members of the many churches represented. Others distributed tracts and talked with tourists from many parts of the world.

The message

The Square had noticeably fewer pigeons since the official ban on selling seed (for health and safety reasons). The apostle Paul was once likened to the little birds that pick up the seed. ‘What will this babbler [literally ‘seed-picker’] say?’ asked the men of Athens (Acts 17:18).

They were calling Paul a thief of other men’s ideas, a spin-doctor, or charlatan. But Paul’s message was not second-hand, but altogether new and radical. He preached ‘Jesus and the resurrection’.

Some of the Trafalgar Square preachers took up this theme, while others emphasised the folly of living for this life only. We reap what we sow. ‘Sin is like a boomerang’, declared Fred Raynsford from Camberwell. ‘It always returns to haunt us’.

Geoff Gobbett spoke of forgiveness, explaining that ‘God can wipe the slate clean’ through the death and resurrection of Christ. David Marshall echoed the sentiments of all present, when he thanked God for the opportunity to preach the gospel to people from many nations. ‘Who knows what good can come from the seed sown?’ he asked.

Bibles for free

Free Bibles were distributed in many languages. Mark Wilson, at the Trinitarian Bible Society stand, reported that ‘a steady flow of literature (Bibles and tracts) had been given out’.

We pray that this public place will be still available to preach the gospel in spite of the changes being brought in by the new mayor of London. ‘The Square’ is getting harder to book, and the time allocated (2 – 7 p.m.) means that the event ran into the dark evening.

The inter-play of new European legislation and a humanistic Lord Mayor may mean trouble ahead.

Nevertheless, we believe that God will overcome, so that the Gospel Ministries team will be able to proclaim the Saviour’s dying love for sinners. One person with the Lord is a majority, as Goliath discovered to his cost when he squared up to David!