Harringay, 1954 – a personal recollection

John Peet  |  Features
Date posted:  1 Apr 2018
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Harringay, 1954 – a personal recollection

Crowds assemble | photo: billygraham.org.uk

I was only a teenager in 1954 when a young American evangelist, Billy Graham, and his team were invited by local churches to come to the UK and conduct an evangelistic crusade in London.

I have a mixture of good memories of the team and their ministry. The ‘song leader’ was Cliff Barrows, and George Beverley Shea, with a rich baritone voice, was the soloist.

Harringay Arena, with a seating capacity of around 11,000, was (I believe) initially booked for a month, but this was extended to 12 weeks as the crowds kept coming. The final meeting was held in Wembley Stadium and had a crowd estimated at 120,000. Other meetings were held in Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square, for example. Billy even had the opportunity to preach before The Queen.

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