The Words of the Hartley Family

The First Years of Our British Church

Patricia H. Hartley
June 1990

Patricia as a nurse in 1967, just before joining the church

Note: I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to my dear sister Marion Porter, who helped me put this history together and to my beloved husband, who spent so many precious hours typing the several attempts I made to put this into some sort of readable form. I have tried to portray the spirit of the first four years of the early history of restoration in Britain. I'm sure that others would like to take up the story for the 20 years which have subsequently passed since then.

As in the history of every country, there was a big struggle in Great Britain to lay a foundation for God to begin His work of restoration. I feel such a strong desire at this time to share with you something of the spirit of these early years and the precious ways in which God worked. Center diaries were kept in 1968 and 1969, which accurately recorded the day to day activities of how we lived in those days. I was privileged to have been one of the sisters who was responsible to keep the diary for several months during that period of time. How important it is now and will be in the future, to preserve the history of God's guidance to establish a foundation in England for our True Parents al d the vital work of restoration.

Rev. David S.C. Kim, now in Barrytown in the U.S., spent over a year at Swansea University in Wales from 1954. Later in 1965, Dr. Young Oon Kim, fondly known at the time as Miss Kim, went to London, England. She made great efforts to contact several spiritual groups but these people were, unfortunately, narrow-minded. For example, they regarded their vegetarian way of life so highly that they found it difficult to even listen to the teachings of a man who ate meat! After a period of 80 days in England, Miss Kim returned to America where she continued her valuable work. In 1965, True Father himself visited London during his worldwide tour to bless Holy Grounds. Miss Kim accompanied him and wanted Father to bless the place which had been her favorite place of prayer by the famous Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. However, Father chose a large Plane Tree nearby, which had been severely damaged by people who had carved their names into its bark. The ceremony was held on July 15, 1965, to establish the first Holy Ground in England.

First Members Join

In 1965, Miss Kim sent Sandi Pinkerton from the United States to make another attempt to begin the mission in England. Sandi had been trained by Miss Kim for several years before. In London she did her best to bring people to God. She tried to give out a lot of love to everyone. Sandi found a center in the middle of London and after several months, was joined by June Darby from South Africa. June had just heard a brief summary of the Divine Principle from Doris (Walder) Orme, while on holiday in Rome. At that time she was teaching at a school in the South of England. As soon as she returned to England, June looked for a teaching post in London, so that she could join Sandi at the center at 17 Emperor's Gate near Gloucester Road. She began teaching at a school in London's East End, a well-known rough area. This became her first challenge and she only survived because of her love for God and True Parents and because of her understanding of the Divine Principle.

It was amazing to see how things began to develop. Jane met an old friend in London on the same coach bound for Scotland. June and Evelyn Hardman had been at the same university in Durban, South Africa. In February 1967, Eve became the first person in Britain to be witnessed to and to join the "Unified Family", as the church was called in those days.

Eve was studying Speech Therapy in London when she met the Family. At the age of 22, Eve was a very independent and intellectual girl to whom center life was quite a challenge. I am Eve's younger sister Patricia (Hardman) Hartley. I accepted True Parents and the Divine Principle in May 1967 and moved to the center, which was a small rented basement flat, two months later. I was training at that time to be a nurse at a hospital in Ascot, Berkshire.

In September, 1967 Miss Kim, who was responsible for Europe at that time, visited and stayed with us in our humble center. She gave out so much love and inspiration to us which was very much appreciated and needed, as we were all so spiritually young and green. Unfortunately Sandi left shortly after Miss Kim's visit. This left three inexperienced sisters who were not yet able to teach the Divine Principle.

Marion (Dougherty) Porter, originally from the U.S., but who had joined our church in 1965 while living in Italy, was sent over in October to London as our Divine Principle teacher. Miss Kim returned to England later that month and elected her to direct the teaching training in the center. She also elected June as the center representative. Marion was a very enthusiastic and energetic person with a loving and caring heart.

Desperation to Witness

One day I was witnessing with Marion. We had made a condition to witness to three people a day and at the end of the second week, no one had come to the center and we were feeling quite desperate. It was late at night and we were tired and a bit despondent, so we went into a Wimpey Snack Bar to have a cup of coffee. We sat down at a table opposite two young men. Peter was from Australia and talked a lot and Bob Duffey was from Canada. Marion started to witness to Bob, and I talked with Peter. Soon afterwards Bob had to leave because the doors of the hostel at which he was staying were locking at midnight, but he promised to meet us again. Peter escorted us home across the busy Cromwell Road. We had nearly reached the other side of the road, when a drunken driver sped round the corner from a side street and almost hit us. Peter grabbed Marion and me and pulled us onto the pavement, literally saving our lives.

The next day Bob came to the center. He was only 19 years old and was globetrotting at the time. This, of course, came to a sudden end when he understood the deep significance of the Divine Principle.

In December 1967, Bob had the courage to join four sisters in a humble center where we hardly had enough money to eat. It was wonderful at last to have some musical accompaniment to our singing. Bob naturally became the center guitarist. We all managed to get jobs and witnessed at every possible moment.

On December 31, 1967, four sisters and one brother sang and prayed the New Year in with all of our hearts. January 1, 1968 was the very first "God's Day" and we all felt so deeply privileged to be a part of it. We really felt that we five people were responsible to bring back millions of British people to God's lonely heart. Later that month, June Darby, Marion Dougherty, Evelyn Hardman and myself made the HSA-UWC a legal charitable organization. It was to be an educational charity with the purpose of educating people in Christian principles and higher values.

Witnessing was such a joy and every evening someone was listening to God's truth, hearing about the Principle of Creation or what happened in 1960. Sometimes we felt so inspired that we could have happily shouted out from the highest roof tops in London that Christ was on earth. "True Parents are here!" We had so much power and energy in those days that we needed very little sleep.

Our daily schedule was as follows and we kept it strictly:

5:30 -- Get up, wash and dress;
6:00 -- teaching practice;
7:30 – breakfast;
8:00 -- prepare and leave for work;
18:00 -- return from work and prepare supper;
18:30 -- supper and discussion;
19:30 -- guests arrived to hear Divine Principle.

Bringing Home His Lost Children

While some members were teaching or supporting, others visited some of the many societies, folk clubs and activities in London. We always expected to find at least one prepared person, if not more, everywhere we went. This was our natural way of thinking. God was bringing home His lost children and we, His instruments, just had to find them.

By 11 p.m., those who had gone out witnessing returned to the center and our guests would go home, looking forward to returning as soon as possible, to hear more of the Divine Principle. The five of us would eagerly discuss the progress of each potential spiritual child and after praying together, it was sometimes three a.m. before we got to bed. Those days were so exciting -- we just loved the people.

Bob met Christopher Davies at a London Folk Club in early 1968. I must say that he looked quite formidable in those days with a shock of red hair and a great big red beard, like a lion. As the Truth of the Divine Principle seeped into his original heart and mind, he felt a change within himself which naturally resulted in what we used to call "Chapter 13". There were 12 chapters in the Divine Principle book in those days and Chapter 13 was the first attempt to apply Divine Principle. This meant short hair and a shaven face for men and no mini-skirts and less or no make-up for women.

It soon became apparent that a bigger center was needed. We eventually found a flat in Earl's Court and moved in on March 30, 1968. Chris helped us move and has been a good and trusty member ever since. He was a qualified Chartered Accountant and his musical talent became a great asset to center life and also to public witnessing. Chris has written dozens of songs which are known to thousands of members throughout the world.

Early in 1968 Marion invited Doris Walder to come and speak to the nine members in Britain. At that time Doris was helping Teddy Verheyen in Holland. Doris and Teddy had previously worked together under Miss Kim in the United States. After consulting with Miss Kim, it was decided that Doris should visit the members in London and also specifically contact Anthony Brooke, who knew about the True Parents and had studied the Divine Principle under Miss Kim's guidance. Anthony Brooke, was well-known among spiritual groups. Doris arrived on March 31, 1968 and four weeks later she and June went to visit Anthony Brooke's secretary, Monica Parish.

Subsequently, Anthony Brooke organized a speaking tour for Doris. The following week Doris and June visited a spiritual group in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. In May, Doris and Marion visited the Findhorn Community in Scotland. This group had had revelations about the Second Coming and knew about Father in Korea. They had a special relationship to Nature. However, when they heard Doris speak about the Divine Principle, they turned hostile. Only one man listened and felt that these two women had something to say. Dennis Orme followed Doris and Marion back to London to hear the Divine Principle in depth. Dennis joined the following month in June. He had been searching for truth for several years.

Dennis' indemnity course began when he realized that he would have to live in a large crowded city to find God's lost children. He loved the peace and beauty of nature and Doris and Marion had met him in a beautiful part of Scotland. After returning from Scotland on completion of her speaking tour, Doris consulted with Miss Kim and it was decided that she would assume the central role for our church in Britain.

Larger Accommodations

At the beginning of 1968, June had helped me to secure a job as a typist at the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square. It was there that I met a young South African girl, Cynthia Buchanan. Cynthia helped us clean the new center at Earl's Court and joined us on the day we moved in. Cynthia witnessed to another fellow typist and shortly afterwards Dawn (Golding) Jouret also joined us. Both girls had been born in South Africa and had grown up in a society where black servants did all the menial tasks for the white people. With this background and also not really understanding enough about the law of indemnity, Cynthia only stayed with us for a few months. Dawn, on the other hand, coming from a similar background, understood Divine Principle more clearly. Although she had her struggles, as we all did, Dawn stayed and became a valuable member of God's growing family and is still with us today. It was really a case of one person being sacrificed for another, as is predicted in Matthew 24:40-41: "Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one left."

We had only been in the new flat for a couple of months, when it became necessary to find larger accommodations. There were so many of us living in the flat and people who lived in the flats above us started giving us strange looks. Several people who had heard Divine Principle wanted to come and live with us to experience center life, but could not because of a lack of space. We eventually found a house to rent for two years. On the July 1, 1968, we moved into a beautiful 7-bedroom house on Streatham Common in Southwest London.

When we moved to the Streatham center, 3 people joined us, making 13 center members. Ian Alexander was a soldier and had been met at Charing Cross Underground station in London while we were still at the first center. Ian heard most of the Divine Principle from June in the kitchen. He liked the atmosphere in the center so much and it was always a struggle for him to leave at night, to return to his military barracks. Sometimes, when we had said good-bye and closed the front door, he would continue speaking through the letterbox flap. Some years later Ian became our first printer.

Alec Herzer was a cartographer whom we met at the "59 Society" in London. This was an organization which invited people from all walks of life to give talks to an audience. Alec collected the money for them at the door. God had had His eye on Alec for a long time but we hadn't realized it. In fact we had deliberately avoided him, thinking that he would object to us witnessing to other people there. We always attended talks on spiritual subjects. Alec observed this and one day he came over to where we were sitting and asked us what we were doing. We told him and soon afterwards Alec began to hear Divine Principle. Before starting to teach in the evenings we used to sit in a circle and sing a few songs. We noticed that Alec was always late and would arrive when the singing had stopped. One day we politely asked him why he was always late and he sheepishly replied that he didn't like the singing so much and so he would ride around the block on his bicycle until the singing had stopped. We laughed a lot but it made us realize that not everyone liked to sing as much as we did. Alec finally joined us after knowing the Family for a year.

Carol Bartholomew was from the West Indies and was then working in London as a social worker when she was met by June. It's always amazing how God works. June changed jobs and did social work for only one month. God had sent her just to meet Carol. Carol is famous in our church for the calypso she wrote "Come back Adam, come back Eve, wipe the tears from His eyes." Personally I could overcome so much of my South African upbringing through Carol, to whom I am deeply grateful.

Each Person Is So Precious

Witnessing continued with great vigor. I remember that we all felt quite ashamed of ourselves if less than 20 people were taught Divine Principle per week. It took me a year to find my first spiritual child. One day Ian and I attended a service at St. Martins-in-the-Fields Church near Trafalgar Square. After the service, we joined a procession of people who took a petition concerning human rights to No. 10 Downing Street. When the document had been officially handed over, I really felt a burning desire to witness to someone. The people seemed to be so good. I just prayed strongly inwardly, "Father who shall I speak to?"

I looked at the crowd and then felt a tremendous pull towards two young girls. From where I was standing I could only see the backs of their heads. They started to leave and I just said to Ian, "Come!" We literally ran down the street and with a voice out of breath, I stopped them and excitedly told them about our Family and how we were teaching new ideas about life. Immediately I got the Cain/Abel reaction from the two girls. Barbara (Cottle) Zaccarelli responded so naturally and was obviously interested. Her friend, on the other hand, was skeptical, so I had to work hard to win her heart and trust. Barbara started to listen to Divine Principle lectures. After she had heard about the "Fall of Man" I warned her that Satan would try to do everything to stop her from coming to hear more, because this truth was so precious. The next time she was due to hear Chapter 3, she arrived one hour late. She told me how a bus hadn't stopped for her and then how the subway had stopped in a tunnel for a long time, and so on. She had almost given up trying to get to the center, but then she had remembered my warning. You can imagine how happy I was to see her again.

Marion taught Barbara the conclusion of the Divine Principle on the day on which we moved to the Streatham center. They found a quiet room amidst all of the hustle and bustle of footsteps continually going to and fro with boxes and suitcases. Barbara accepted our True Parents immediately and moved into the center about a month later. She was training at the time to become a school teacher.

We spoke regularly at the famous "Speakers Corner" in London. For a year we made a condition to speak there every Sunday come wind, rain, snow or sunshine. It was good experience for all of us and we learned to overcome our shyness and inhibitions by standing in front of a lot of people and also having to deal with atheistic and communistic hecklers. One brother who joined us in the summer of 1968, Neil Winterbottom, was very good at sorting out anyone who tried to disrupt the speaker. It was highly amusing to see this tall, slim brother pulling himself up another couple of centimeters and saying slowly and deliberately with a perfect Oxford English accent, "As for you sir, I will deal with you later." This always had a magical effect and quickly silenced the hecklers. Neil came from an "I Ching" group who were concerned about the development of mind and body. Later he helped Dr. Young Oon Kim with her book in Washington, DC.

Four people joined the Unified Family in four months from August to November 1968. Ian met a young man, Nicholas Hillman, who was an organ tuner. Nick was good at everything he put his hands to and soon became the Family "fix-it man". Nothing short of perfection was good enough for Nick. He was very talented.

The last person to join us in this memorial year of 1968 was Hazel (Ifill) Barlow, from the West Indies. Hazel and her mother, Pearl, had been listening to the Divine Principle regularly at a house in Surrey where a middle-aged couple opened their doors for the Divine Principle to be taught in their home. Hazel was an infant teacher and was also very clever with her hands. When I think of the early members, I can see that we really were a mixture of heart, intellect and will!

Father speaks to members during his visit in 1969, with Miss Young Oon Kim seated to his right and Mrs. Won Pok Choi to his left

We Meet True Parents

In August 1968, June went over to Holland to support the members there. A few days later Neil went to the U.S. to help Miss Kim with her book. In October, Eve went to Holland and Marion went to Ireland to pioneer Belfast.

In January 1969, Doris sent me to Italy to support Martin Porter. After only two months we returned to London to meet our True Parents. For most of us, it was our first time to meet them. The British, Italian, and Dutch families who gathered in London numbered about 40 people. Many of us went to the airport to meet our True Parents. When they finally came through the gate, we were so happy and amazed to see their smiling faces. True Father shook everyone's hand in turn. I can remember feeling very shy and sinful before our True Parents' absolute standard of love and goodness. I felt afraid of Father at first and tried to hide myself behind a tall brother. Despite my efforts, Father saw me and shook my hand firmly and in that instant the fear and confusion left me. I felt so strongly that he really was my True Father.

On the first evening our True Parents were in London, Doris had invited some spiritualists to meet them and to hear Father speak. There was even an Indian guru among the guests. When Father came into the room he said to the guests, "I have two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth" and then grinned at us from ear to ear. Everyone laughed and immediately the rather tense atmosphere became more relaxed. Father is the expert in making people feel "at home". He spoke until the early hours of the morning in his usual dynamic way.

On the following evening he spoke to the Family in depth and on the third evening Father, Mother, Mrs. Choi, President Eu, Miss Kim and Mr. Kuboki sang to us and then we sang individually and also by nation for them. It was such a beautiful time together that we hoped would never end. Mother was pregnant with Hyun Jin Nim, their third son, at the time and it was wonderful to watch Father whispering tenderly in her ear from time to time. Something else that struck my heart very deeply was Father's continual awareness and concern for each person. President Eu was responsible for recording True Parents' whole trip in 1969. President Eu was always in such pain because of a severe problem with his hip. One time Father was speaking to us and as Mrs. Choi translated, Father turned and looked at President Eu with such an expression of concern and compassion on his face. One second before this, President Eu had moved in his chair and for a fleeting moment his face had creased up with pain. Everything happened so quickly, but the depth of heart which Father expressed in that moment, could only have come from God's true son.

During those three precious days when our True Parents were with us, Father interviewed several people who were candidates for the forthcoming Blessing. A few days' later 8 European couples were blessed in Essen, Germany. They are part of the 43 couple Blessing. Dennis and Doris Orme were the only candidates from Britain to be blessed at that time.

Out of the first 15 members who have been mentioned here, only 3 are not with us today. Everyone else has been blessed in the Blessings between 1969 and 1982 and have around 30 Blessed children between them ranging in age from 20 to 1 year old.

During those early days, we felt such love for the people and such a burning desire to bring them home to God's heart. Our center was our home and we were a family. We fought sometimes, but we loved each other and still do. Above all, we respected each other because we felt that God had handpicked each person who joined because of the indemnity paid through their respective lineages. When people came to hear the Divine Principle at our centers they really felt God's presence there. Even now when we meet another original member, there is automatically such a strong bond of love between us, as in a real family.

Now we have advanced from the individual level to the family and national levels in God's dispensation. Whether we live in centers, home or in a small flat, let's continue to give God's love and truth to everyone who can receive it. Let's love each other as a real family. People are always drawn to where there is love, especially God's love. 

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