Beryl Moore, 87, had a dramatic conversion in her 40s after adultery and divorce, and subsequently leading a renewal and healing centre in Kent  


*This article contains content of a sensitive nature that some might find disturbing*

I was born in 1936 in south east London. The war broke out in 1939 so I was evacuated down to Cornwall with my mother, aunt and cousin. We stayed with Mr and Mrs Hawkes and their adult daughter, Felicia until the war ended.

My father was in the Navy; he was the commander of a tank landing craft, one of those used in the Normandy landings, so I didn’t see very much of him. 

I won a scholarship to art school in Woolwich when I was twelve. I left school at 16 to work in London. I was just pen pushing, really, because I had no qualifications. 

One morning, when I was about 18, I was sitting at my desk, and this young man came up and stood beside me and said: “I want you in my office on Monday morning.” Everybody else went very quiet. It turned out that he was the son of the owner of the company. So up I went to the chairman’s suite and learned shorthand and typing, so I could become a secretary to the board of directors – I worked for the directors for the next ten years.

Marriage and baby loss

I got married when I was just 20. My husband was a friend of our neighbour. I first met him when I spotted him in the garden next door, and thought: “I’ll go and do some gardening.” We got chatting, and ended up getting married in 1956. I didn’t play the field at all because it wasn’t the way things were done in those days. 

We tried for a baby, and I had a miscarriage and then a full-term stillbirth in 1964. That’s how I met my closest friend, Joyce. She was my nurse in a Christian hospital. When we met neither of us were Christians. 

I had experienced almost complete kidney failure and was advised against another pregnancy, so in 1965 my husband and I adopted a little boy, Stephen, when he was three months old. When he was seven, I had another miscarriage followed within 24 hours by a ruptured ectopic pregnancy; once again I nearly lost my life. 

‘I’ve been a toerag, but God is consistently faithful’

Afterwards, I went into a deep depression and became suicidal. I had been planning to put my head in the gas oven, but my mum rang me out of the blue to ask if I’d like to go for a coffee – she saved my life.

Later in life my mother became disabled from a genetic condition. She was wheelchair bound and dad looked after her, but in 1981 he died suddenly. I was in my 40s, left with a disabled mother, a teenage son and feeling very restless in my marriage. 

Going off the rails – and being rescued

When I was at art school as a teenager, there was a guy that took a shine to me. He went off to do his national service, and I lost touch with him. But 25 years later, this man came back into my life and we had what can only be described as a torrid affair.

I went totally off the rails. After this affair, there was another one and then another. I eventually confessed to my husband, and we divorced in 1981, which broke up his life; it didn’t do much for my son either. It was very selfish on my part. 

One night in 1984, while I was drinking and smoking heavily, sat on the sofa, it felt like I had snakes in my head. They were curling around the front of my hairline. In desperation, I fell to my knees and cried out to God: “If you’re real, please help me. I’ll do anything you say.” Suddenly I saw a brilliant light, and the feeling of the snakes disappeared.

I finished my drink and cigarette, went to bed, and didn’t think any more about it. At the time I was working in local government for a director of social services and housing. I had a Christian colleague and she started to push biblical texts across the table at me until I had a pile of them. Then she invited me to her baptism at her church in Barnehurst, Kent. I thought I would go to shut her up. The people were so lovely, and they seemed to have something that I needed. When there was an altar call, I went up the front. I did this for about six months. Every time there was an altar call up I trotted because I wanted what they had. 


Filled with the Holy Spirit and delivered

One day my friend took me to her house group. I was sitting in one of their meetings and they were asking for the Holy Spirit to come. Suddenly, from my feet to the top of my head, fire began to consume me; it just washed up and over me. I basked in the feeling; it was beautiful. On the way home I suddenly started speaking in tongues. I had no idea what it was, so I went to the local Pentecostal church to ask them what it all meant.

After I gave my life to Jesus, I rang my ex-husband and asked for his forgiveness. He didn’t understand and thought I had “found religion”. He later remarried, but the Lord made it very clear that I wasn’t to marry again. 

During this time, I was still seeing someone. One day, I felt very strongly to go into the little parish church on the way home in New Ash Green. I went in at 10am when nobody was about and sat in a pew. Suddenly, from my left-hand side came an audible voice that said: “Go, woman and sin no more.”

I didn’t know the scripture at that time (John 8:11). But I was the woman caught in adultery. I said to the Lord I wouldn’t cut my hair as a sign of walking away from sin. I have stuck to that vow, which was made nearly 40 years ago.

I suddenly started speaking in tongues. I had no idea what it was

The Lord delivered me from smoking and drinking. I used to go through a box of wine in a few days, but one day I realised I didn’t want it. Smoking was different. One morning I was having a bath and the Lord said to me: “I want you to give up smoking.” I froze, because I thought: “I can’t give up smoking.” “Can I have my last cigarette?” I asked. He said: “No, this is it.” As I got out of the bath and was drying my toes, I said to him: “I’ll never be able to do it.” He replied: “Every time you want a cigarette, pray in tongues.” That’s what I did, and I’ve never had a cigarette since. 

Led into ministry alongside my friend

My friend Joyce and I had become Christians within nine months of one another. Joyce had been widowed young, when her husband was suddenly struck down with a viral illness and died within 24 hours. 

When Joyce was living in Wales the Lord told me that he was going to call her to Kent, but that I was not to say anything to her. She came down to spend some time with me, and said she had been at her home and the Lord had said to her: “You won’t be here at Christmas.” 

She asked if God had spoken to me, and I said: “Well, three months ago, the Lord told me that he was going to move you down to Kent.” We both decided we needed to seek the Lord, so we went for a walk and she suddenly said: “Paddock Wood is where I am supposed to go.” In 1991 we both moved there, but we didn’t know what we were there for. Within a few months, I had a dream about what God wanted us to do – open up a renewal and healing centre. 

I had a dream about what God wanted us to do

It began with the Lord saying: “I want you to start a coffee morning.” We lived in town opposite an old Wesleyan chapel. It was empty, so we made enquiries, and opened a coffee morning there on a Friday morning. We felt God tell us to give everything away for free. We were both in our 50s with no income. We were soon directed by him to open the coffee shop every morning. We ended up forming a trust and getting charity status; we were called Oasis Community Trust. 

As well as a coffeeshop, we started children’s work on Saturdays. We did outreach and prayer ministry, and the latter began to grow. We cried out to God for somewhere to see people. The Lord opened up a way for us to rent a house in a little village nearby.

We lived entirely by the donations of fellow believers. One day I was teaching in the local church, and there was a basket for anyone who wanted to give to the ministry. One lady squealed as she went to the basket. I asked her: “What’s the matter?”’ She said: “The Lord just told me to empty my purse into your basket, but I knew I hadn’t got any money, so I was shocked when I opened it and found it full of 20 pound notes!” There was £100 in there – God provides in miraculous ways!

We ran the Oasis prayer and coffee mornings for about five years, then we moved location to what became the Renewal and Healing Centre. We did that for 14 years and then the Lord told me to begin to teach. 

At 80, I wrote my first book, School of the Spirit. I have published eight books now with more in the pipeline. Now, at 87, my work is centred mainly around mentoring young leaders.

You always know what God is going to be like, but you never know what he’s going to do! I think that’s one of my biggest lessons. I’ve been a toerag, but he has been consistently faithful. He is just so utterly amazing. 

Find out more about Beryl, her books and ministry at

Words by Jemimah Wright