“The Angels of the A23”

Members of the Plymouth Brethren UK Rapid Relief Team (RRT) were again involved in good deeds when freezing conditions on the A23 at Handcross Hill forced motorists to a standstill. Assisting police to tow vehicles out of trouble and handing out hot drinks and food saw the RRT dubbed “The Angels of the A23” by grateful motorists enduring the ordeal.

PBCC - A23 angels at work

Britain’s worst March snow storm in 30 years meant road conditions were never going to be easy. Snow falls and sub zero temperatures combined to block the road, stranding motorists for up to 13 hours. When Mark MacIntyre of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church arrived on the scene around tea time he could see help was needed and called in the RRT to assist Police efforts to recover the situation, an action that was to earn the team praise from the Police and struggling motorists.

“If it wasn’t for Mark and his friends I would no doubt have spent the night in the car,” said Professor Carol Alexander from the University of Sussex. “But he and his friends got me to the top of Handcross Hill, and I was able to get home to Purley after 8.5 hours in the car, having left Sussex University at 5pm.”

“They were absolutely brilliant,” another driver said. “It would take the council a week to organise something like this, they were angels and everyone was really glad to see them.”

PBCC - RRT Serving The Queues

After an initial assessment of the situation the RRT called in 7 4x4s to assist Police efforts to get vehicles moving. Driving snow had built up to the point where it was preventing vehicles driving clear so the 30-strong team from the RRT pitched in with shovels to dig them free. Some vehicles needing the 4x4s to tow them clear, and for others it was simply a case of flat battery. For those patiently waiting for their turn to come the RRT were on hand with hot drinks and snacks. Having not eaten for hours the generosity of the RRT was much appreciated. “Everyone was really grateful,” said Mark. “A hot drink can mean a lot when you’re stuck out outside at night.”

PBCC - A23 Slush

The operation continued until dawn by which time the emergency services had the situation in hand and the road was clearing.

PBCC - A23 Angels

To view DVD clip, please click on the link below. “Courtesy of BBC South Today”.

A23 – BBC interview with Mark

To view Daily Mail article, please click on the link below.


Plymouth Brethren Raymond Wilson Thanks

Raymond Wilson Thanks

Plymouth Brethren - Tony Nicholls Thanks

Tony Nicholls Thanks

16 thoughts on ““The Angels of the A23””

  1. Winkle says:

    Goodonya Mark and your team!

    I have personally experienced these freezing conditions and know that this is a very unselfish act, it really shows up the true colours of the PBCC and also very clearly shows how untruthful all the un-factual criticism from adverse persons is!

    May you and your RR Team be blessed and you be helped to lead them from Strength to Strength!

    All the best!

  2. Oz says:

    Kevin Jones,

    Don’t be like that!

    We’ve been criticized for being too secretive and now people like you criticize us for blowing our own trumpet!

    PBCC has served their local communities for many many years, sometimes unappreciated and misunderstood except by those whose lives have been touched in some way. Speak to our teachers, business associates, employees, people we have contact with in our daily lives and you’ll find we’re a normal, happy, vibrant community. Our beliefs may be a little different to some sections of the community but it is all solidly based on scripture.

    Many, many good deeds have been done in our communities unrecorded as we honestly don’t enjoy being in the limelight, however, those recorded are just the tip of the iceberg. There is some misinformation about us so we’re just trying to correct that and show people who we really are.

    There’s an Indian saying that says don’t criticize someone unless you have walked a mile in their moccasins.

    Get out there and experience for yourself the sacrifice and pleasure of helping someone less well off than yourself, then you will feel so good you won’t feel like criticizing someone else!

    Have a good day!

  3. Åke says:

    Well done Christians!
    In Sweden we use winter tires which means this kind of situation is not happening much. Are these not sold in Britain by now?

    1. stefan says:

      this happens once in a blue moon and poeple tent to panic and do siily thing instead of staying calm and perhaps a little prayer would not go a miss.
      britain does sell snow tyers.

  4. Kevin Jones says:

    I am interested that so many of these events have occurred recently, and how someone remembered in the urgency to remember to take a camera??

    1. Anonymous2 says:

      took them on their mobiles??

      but yes all these events come too life with photos!!

    2. Jeanette says:

      Actions speak louder than words and a picture is worth a thousand words. Two very common sayings that I am sure you’ve heard before.
      These “acts of kindness” have occurred for years and were not recorded because it wasn’t necessary to “toot our own horns” but also the technology available today was not available then. My phone and digital camera are in my car 95% of the time – but in winter in North America – they are in my car all the time. It’s not hard to snap a photo when you’ve got something to take it with.
      As believers showing Christian charity to those in need should not need to be recorded but it is obvious now that it is.

      Have a happy day!

  5. John says:

    It’s only a few weeks since you criticised the Mail Group for not being accurate. I assume that this story cannot be believed either.

    1. Joe says:

      I wondered how long it would take for some smart alec to make a comment like that.

      Check out – http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/Governance/article/1175581/county-council-police-dismiss-complaints-against-brethren-school/ and you will see why the criticism of the Mail article about the Wilton Park School was justified.

    2. Ty says:

      FYI – this article is not about the Mail Group. Yes the Daily Mail published a story about this, but this is a story about true Christians helping the public, photographic and anecdotal evidence provided, not based on loose journalistic hearsay with anonymous sources. Can you not see any difference??

    3. Anna says:

      Maybe this was a backflip on the part of the Mail?? – Kinda like an apology……… I dunno if they could apologise properly; as Ty says there is anacdotal evidence and action photos to back this article up.

    4. Claude Monet says:

      Fully agree with Ty!….. The article regarding the Wilton Park School was pure surmisal on the part of the journalist but this is ALL truth, as Ty says, backed up with photos, etc. Isn’t this obvious enough, John?

    5. azz says:

      john what you see here is proof
      is it not

    6. Anonymous says:

      Ok John – So Maggie Thatcher hasn’t died after all.

  6. Granny says:

    If I am ever stuck in snow, I sincerely hope the PBCCRRT aren’t far away!!

    1. D says:

      Could somebody tell us what being stuck in the snow that night was like? It sounds like many were in that situation.

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