Harold Wood church hears about trapped Chilean miners’ experience

AN AUDIENCE in Harold Wood heard about last year’s dramatic rescue of the 33 Chilean miners at a special meeting last night (Thursday).

St Peter’s Church, Gubbins Lane, hosted a talk by the President of Chile’s Protestant chaplain Alf Cooper, who was at the leader’s side during the crisis. He was also one of the first people to meet the rescued miners after their ordeal.

Mr Cooper, who has been touring the world with miner Jose Henriquez, told the meeting about the faith that many of the men found when they were trapped underground.

Speaking to the Recorder before the talk he said: “When they were down there they formed a democracy, and they made it a praying democracy and that according to Jose was what the element that made it work despite the fact that they faced all sorts of dangers down there.”

This is a concept that he explained to Barack Obama at the US President’s prayer breakfast in Washington DC earlier this month.


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The meeting was shown video footage of miner Jose, who Mr Cooper has come to know very well, a man who the chaplain says had to hide from media attention for some time after the rescue, and who declined the offer of free tickets to see Manchester United.

When asked if being so close to the miners during the crisis had changed him personally he said: “Definitely. I cannot tell the story without being very moved. I think what it has mostly done for me is enforced the fact that there is a God who answers prayer.”

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