"Still tuned in to change"
John has had a long association with Scripture Union beginning in England and then moving to Australia. He believes the organisation is still tuned in to current culture and has so much to offer through its army of volunteers
SU author and long-time associate John Prince became a Christian at a Scripture Union camp called Iwerne Minster in 1940 with the Battle of Britain raging overhead.
“The more I look back on that event, now that I am 94, the more radical I realise the change in me was as a consequence.”
It was here that some of the camp leaders included Royal Navy chaplain and later Bishop of Norwich, Maurice Wood, as well as other big names in the Christian world like John Stott and John Pollock.
After that initial camp experience, John went on to become ‘camp commandant’ many times. Hand in hand with his late-wife, Moyra, he served in or led 49 beach missions, starting in the UK in 1946.
In 1950 John and Moyra moved to Sydney, Australia where John became one of the staff at The Kings School. From here he continued his work on camps and beach missions in Australia. During the next few years he saw beach missions in New South Wales grow from 10 to 25.
John chaired a variety of SU committees in New South Wales and Western Australia. He was part of the SU conference at Mt Victoria whch led to the formation of ANZEA ( the Australia New Zealand East Asia ) Region. As this developed there were many conferences and tours of 12 East Asian countries to encourage development of SU movements which included the launch of the Korean translation of Early Harvest. John also had a hand in getting SU off the ground in Papua New Guinea during the 1960s. As this emerged Moyra majored on schools’ work and John concentrated on Bible Reading, organising the writing, printing and distribution of the SU English Notes and then SU Notes in Pidgin for Papua New Guinea.
John and Moyra, have written a number of books published by Scripture Union including one on the history of SU in Australia for its centenary year called Tuned into Change.
John believes SU’s strength lies in its army of volunteers.
“It is wonderful to still be in touch with more than 70 men who came to know the Lord on one of my Hawkesbury River Cruise camps, and who remain actively serving God in one way or another.”
Looking ahead he believes the future of Scripture Union is exciting. “We felt then that SU was truly alive and kicking after 100 years and from my now limited observation in this far corner of the world, it still is ‘tuned in to change.’”