Saints and Angels

Barbara and Tim Swift are the wonderful Churchwardens of St James in Slaithwaite, and in our ‘real-world’ series of faith stories they share two very different experiences: one where a Saint helped them out, and another which left them with the feeling they’d met an Angel…

… Tim writes

Barbara and Tim Swift, Churchwardens of St James, Slaithwaite

Saintly help:

It pays to be a Christian! Barbara and I lived in Clapton when were just married, attending a run-down church which had abandoned its ruinous building and met in the church hall with a small congregation. We were poorer than church mice. We had been to the theatre as I could get free tickets, and it was very late, and a cold, wet foggy November night. We waited at the end of a queue for the last No.38. When it came it was full and the conductor hung out of the back platform and shouted “no more”. Then he saw us (he went to the same church) and said “except you”. We were saved! A five mile cold and rather scary trudge was avoided and our membership of the church was consolidated.

Clapton bus route #38

Angelic intervention:

Do you believe in Angels? As students Barbara and I went on an interrail around Europe with many adventures. Using Cook’s timetable I plotted our journey and told Barbara’s father. There was no mobile phone or e-mail and contact with home was by postcard. One morning we were on Zagreb station in Croatia awaiting the express to Trieste and Venice. We had come from the coast and it was 8am and the station was busy. An old man sitting on a trolley told us in English to get on a little yellow train which meant crossing the lines. It was not in my timetable but he was very insistent. It was a stopping train and took us slowly to Trieste. When we next contacted Barbara’s father he was sure we were dead. The express train we were waiting for came in too fast, smashing into the platform and bringing down the overhead cables killing several hundred people. We still wonder who the old man was and why he told us about the little train.

Monument to victims of the train accident at the Mirogoj Cemetery work of Vojin Bakić
(photograph from the public domain)


  1. Life is full of adventures and I dare say you’d have many more to share – good news is be it by saints or angels God is always with us xx
    Love to both xx

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