Having recently moved into the East Anglia region – but a moderate stone’s throw from the town of Lowestoft, which is often the focus of this story – I was asked, “Did I know about the spiritual revival in East Anglia?” I didn’t. Now I know something about it all and I understand from the author’s point of view that this was the last revival in England. The earlier Welsh and later Hebrides revivals are both mentioned but the events that sprang out of Lowestoft, in 1921, are cited as being the last known revival in England (as opposed to Scotland and Wales). As someone converted at the tail-end of the ‘charismatic’ era in the UK I had always thought of that movement as being the last ‘revival’ in this land. Regardless of whatever ‘mixture’ there may have been in the latter movement I have always understood (and seen some of the evidence) that many formerly ‘static’ believers were stirred afresh in renewing their love towards Jesus and I know of many that came to The Lord during that period.
Anyhow, regardless of the technicalities of what is recognised as a ‘revival’ or not I was perfectly glad to read of the events pertaining to this particular time. If you decide to read this book you will discover the relevant name, dates and places etc. In broad summary there was a simple and willing cooperation between the various institutional churches of the time and within that framework God worked and blessed and moved in His saving grace.
I shan’t attempt to relate any of the little ‘incidences’ and notable conversion stories that are mentioned but I will share one quote, which must betray my less than spiritual focus at times, which just tickled me for a moment – with regards to one of the key figures involved in this account…
“Montague Micklewright observed that throughout his ministry Douglas Brown had suffered from neuritis, which appeared to be due to an excess of nervous energy, but seemed to be relieved by much preaching.”
(I know, I have a strange sense of humour at times, but that just made me laugh!)
The revival was short-lived, and there was some analysis of that, but it affected many throughout the East Anglia region and also especially the East of Scotland through the fishing contacts with Lowestoft in those days. It seems also there was a spark of life manifesting in parts of Ireland at the same time.
As a newcomer to the region and given that it is now getting on for a hundred years since these events I would be more than happy to respectfully ask The Lord if He would be pleased to pour out His Spirit on and from East Anglia once again. AMEN!