Preston PWMI

On Saturday night I attended the Preston Branch meeting of the Prophetic Witness Movement International, whose chief concern is Christ’s return. The preacher, a Doctor Boreland, had a reassuringly godly Northern Irish accent, as he expounded various passages of his Authorised Version. There were a couple of gospel appeals in the sessions, which I felt were mainly for my benefit; I was unknown to the speakers, I had come without my Bible and was casually attired. We were given special PWMI hymn books which I noted retailed for three shillings or fifteen New Pence. Judging by these books’ excellent condition despite their obvious age, I couldn’t help but wonder that they’d have a strong chance of surviving the Great Tribulation when the rest of the world burned.


The organisation was founded in 1917 when evangelical ministers in London published an advert declaring the imminent return of Christ. They had been prompted to do so by General Allenby’s successful taking of Jerusalem, and former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour declaring his support for a restored Jewish homeland. The Advent Testimony and Preparation Movement was subsequently founded after the crowded meetings at Queen’s Hall, resulting from the advert. It changed to its current name in 1969.

I was by no means the youngest there, yet despite its meeting on a day and at a time when most are free, the generality of attendees were past working age. In one sense this is natural, seeing as this is the age profile of most church-goers. And yet it does indicate a lack of interest in the apocalypse- and therefore an unpreparedness. 

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Revelation 16:15