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Ralph Chambers

Ralph Chambers had important and influential youth and children's ministries in the late 60s and early 70s (see the e-mail from him below).

As I recall, he attended a C of E church on Alexandra Road South in Manchester, opposite Alexandra Park. In the 1960s, he organised what he called the "Glory Hole Coffe Bar", which he took around the north west of England (and possibly further afield).

Two of them that we played at were in St Helens and in Alexandra Park itself (below).

Another of his ministries, still with children and young people, involved him and Irene Wardle taking 'disco' equipment around the country, and organising what might be termed "Christian Discos", with activities and an evangelistic emphasis. This was obviously at a time when 'discos' were the 'in' thing. The one that we played at was, again, in Alexandra Park, Manchester.

The four bookings with him - that we have a record of - are shown on the Bookings Page as:

1) Sunday 25 June 1967 - St Luke's Eccleston,
Tent Campaign, Coffee Bar, "Glory Hole".
St Helen's Rugby Ground

2) Saturday 1 July 1967
"Glory Hole" Tent Meeting (CCC)
Alexandra Park, Manchester

3) Sunday 30 May 1968
Alexandra Park, Manchester

4) Saturday 24 October 1970
Number One Mobile Gospel Disco,
Baptist Church Hall, Brierfield
At the "Glory Hole" - probably June or July 1967

The links in the list above show some 'paperwork' that we managed to pick up at the meetings.

Ralph's work continued after this in the very influential children's ministry which he called "CCC", and which I think stood for "Children's Christian Crusade" (somebody help me here). I suspect that songs such as "Have you heard about the boy in the multi-coloured coat?" were written by the same Ralph Chambers. Reference to this particular song can be found at, on the cd "No Pianist for Assembly? No Problem! - 8 CD set"

In 2008 I received this e-mail (edited) from Ralph Chambers.

18 July 2008

What a great and pleasant surprise to hear from you after LONG years. The link on your website to my Christian activities is very accurate and you have either a better memory that me or a more efficient record system! Irene (Wardle) and I remember well the four events we shared together under "Glory Hole" coffee bar and later "No 1 Mobile Gospel Disco". I have trawled through the many "gigs" you held over the years and cannot be certain whether we shared in anything else. As well as (fading!) memories I still have 4 EP's "I know - If only - forgive me- busy man" in my collection of records which I haven't the heart to bin as yet!  
Ralph & Pam Chambers in 2008

Some months ago my eldest daughter Ruth phoned to say "Turn on your radio" and someone (?) was hosting a radio programme in which you were mentioned and interviewed. All collectors items now! You will know this of course.

Your website is SO interesting and God used your ministry in amazing ways. The names of other "Groups" - as you were then known - also revived memories and It was a privilege to have shared some events with you all. Do you know if Maurice Lee of "The Informers" is still around? The Children's Christian Crusade began in the autumn of 1964 and continued until 1996 when I reached 65 and officially retired. Our work consisted mainly of 8-day Sunday to Sunday church-based kids missions, but we were always aware of the challenge of the 'teens and invariably included a teenage "outreach" event on the Sat or Sun night. I need to go through old diaries as you have done, but estimate we conducted around 600 8-day missions in all parts of the UK. Irene is now 81 and in poor health having battled against Parkinson's Disease for almost 23 years. She lives with her older sister in Lymm about a mile away from Pam and me and I act increasing as carers for them both. Although very shaky on her legs she comes with me on Sunday mornings if I am out speaking otherwise accompanies us to Lymm Baptist Church where we all now attend.

At 77 I enjoyed good health until being diagnosed with a heart problem a couple of years ago which has slowed me down and ruined my tennis! I am still an active player but now banned from league matches! I preach quite a bit - mainly Sunday mornings when I do All-age presentations with PowerPoint and Song-Pro. Don't think I will ever be free of equipment!.

I continued leading our annual Holiday Bible Club at Lymm BC until 3 years ago when I took a back seat to encourage younger leaders - still miss it terribly! One of the last "official" missions we held was at St Leonard's, Bootle in July 1994 when I met up again with - WHOM - can't remember which one of you!! (John Boyes)

My son-in-law is Singer/Songwriter Paul Field (married to Ruth mentioned above) who wrote and produced "Pass it on" and "Fit for life" (ICC) kids' albums for me. I eventually kicked my trusty piano accordion into touch and we had kids singing along to Paul's more contemporary songs.

Please convey my best wishes to the other guys and may the Lord bless you all. Keep on following and serving Him to the end!

Yours in Christ



If you can help with any extra information, please get in touch. Email

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