John Pridmore found God after a life of crime.
A one-time notorious London gangster is to visit Derry this week to tell of his journey from the criminal underworld to God.
John Pridmore was born in the East End of London. At the age of 10, his parents got divorced and because of it he made what he describes as 'an unconscious decision not to love any more'.
By the age of 13, he had started stealing and by 15 he was put in a youth detention centre.
When he left home after having been released, his only qualification was stealing, so that's what he did.
At the age of 19 he was back in prison again. Because of the way he dealt with his pain was through anger.
He was always involved in fights and because of that he was put on 23-hour solitary confinement. As a consequence of that he came out of prison even more angry and bitter.
He started bouncing round the East and West End of London. He liked fighting, so he thought he might as well get paid for it.
Then, he met some guys who seemed to have everything and he started to work for them. Before long he wasn’t working for them, he was working with them. These were the guys who ran most of the organised crime in London.
He became a “serious face” on the London gangster scene. His jackets were tailored to hold his machete and knuckledusters. His drug dealing netted him thousands and he had it all, or so he thought.
Money, power, girls, drugs the lot - and yet there was something missing... a void he could never fill.
This struck him more than ever, when he thought he had killed someone outside a nightclub he was working at.
After nearly taking the man's life, something incredible happened to him and his life began to change.
Pridmore will tell his amazing conversion experience and faith journey as well as being available to talk to individuals at Termonbacca Carmelite Retreat Centre in Derry this Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16.
Everyone is welcome. Registration at 10am.
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