Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Cambridge God Adventure* 43) The eleventh hour

(*please skip if you have not been following this story). Yet within a very few days of that despairing meeting something happened to transform the situation.  Miss Winifred Nutter (aged 99 years) died and we learned to our immense surprise that she had left her home for the singular purpose that it be used as a residence for the minister.  A large house, set in an even larger garden in a lovely residential area near the main hospital.....we couldn't believe the timing in our hour of need.

Miss Nutter had become a member in 1909 and at least of ten of her close relatives had served as deacons in the church.  She was a great character belonging to a significant Cambridge family.  On my first visit she mistook me for the man who was going to measure for new curtains and she was clearly irritated when I sat down expecting to share in conversation.  Her generosity in leaving her house to us was extraordinary in its appropriateness and timing.   We marvelled at this God-incidence....we had come so close to despair yet had kept praying.  And at the eleventh hour!

I wrote in the church magazine: 'Could there be more dramatic 'signs following' confirming the rightness of a second minister than the gift of this house at this exact moment in our church life'.   The prayer diary (May 3) records thanks for 'GREAT ANSWERS in the house provided for future ministry of Martyn.'  Oh, yes! Martyn and Margaret had somewhere to live and this became a key centre of hospitality and ministry for many years.  Sometimes it was called the 'Nutter House' which occasionally seemed highly appropriate!

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