It must have 1967 when as an 18 year old I was called to serve in the Young Men’s presidency. One evening I attended a meeting with the other Southend youth leaders held in the home of brother and sister Brown located in Southchurch. During the meeting I had to excuse myself and use the downstairs w.c. which meant going out of the kitchen back door into the garden. A day or so after the meeting, much to my surprise, I was apprehended and taken to the Southend central police station where I was interrogated by a CID officer.
Apparently, during the time we held that meeting sister Brown had her handbag stolen, which she had left on a table in the kitchen. As I had passed through the kitchen I was the prime suspect of the crime!
The CID officer tried to persuade me to come clean and confess the crime, which of course I did not. Because I was a member of the church he decided to hand me over to his chief who was Peter Doxsey. In all honesty, I felt no fear whatsoever as Peter tried to use our shared faith as a lever to encourage a confession. This was the first time I met Peter’s acquaintance. His voice was his trade mark. He was so lovable. Years later as bishop of Southend I came to know him and his other skills even better. He shall be missed but never forgotten.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, there were other robberies in the neighbourhood where we held our meeting and the thief was caught.