Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

African neighbour!

Years ago I met an American in London and we arranged to go on a sightseeing tour of Norfolk. He said he'd love to but he had to wait for a South African friend of his who had gone to the country to see relations. I said fine and asked him where he had gone. To cut a long story short, his friend had gone to see friends who lived next door to my parent's house, the house I grew up in! I thought that was quite an interesting coincidence in that it involved 3 continents which must surely lengthen the odds of that happening!
Total votes: 519
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:32:01 +0000Coincidence ID:3435

Dates and ages

On 4th February 1990 my father suffered major industrial injury. At that time he was aged 58 and born in 1932 and I was aged 32 and born in 1958. 32 + 58 = 90!
Total votes: 498
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:31:47 +0000Coincidence ID:3434

Births

Daughter-in-law was born on the same day four years after her brother - natural births. She in turn had two girls on the same day two years apart - natural births.
Total votes: 443
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:31:26 +0000Coincidence ID:3433

Hogarth

I was sitting down last week to do the Times concise crossword, whilst listening to Radio 4's In Business on the i-player. At the exact moment I studied the the clue "English painter. William......", Peter Day referred to "Hogarth" in connection with his programme on London gin! I cannot remember the last time William Hogarth briefly came into my life, maybe once every 4 years, but on the this occasion it happened twice at the same split second. Jake D
Total votes: 483
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:31:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3432

Kenya coincidence

Believing what God has prompted you to do, after prayer, and finding His provision for what you need. Judith and I had moved "in faith" to Kisumu, Kenya, where we believed that God had led us to in 1972. When I arrived there, I had an appointment list of dental patients stretching for about three months. I looked around for a car, which we could use both for personal and for dental safari work. Nothing seemed to come to the surface, even though Kisumu was quite a large town. I prayed persistently and felt that I should go to Nairobi to look for a car. Unfortunately, one week before I was due to go to Nairobi, I had an accident and ruptured my clavicular (shoulder) joint. I had waited several months for the opportunity to go to Nairobi, because of my long working list. It was a great disappointment to hear the Russian physiotherapist tell me that, not only must I not drive but, I should not even travel in a car in order to avoid jolting the joint because of the rough roads. I attended the Russian hospital for one week of physiotherapy. On the last day, the physiotherapist said, "I know you wanted to go to Nairobi to buy a car, you have healed well and I think you're OK for the journey, but you must not drive!" I was so pleased, and surprised, but could see the obvious stupidity of travelling to Nairobi. Firstly, I had not booked any accommodation and I did not know Nairobi, nor where to stay; and secondly, I did not have the ability to drive the car that I might want buy, if there was one there. However, I felt that it was ‘right to go’ and dashed home and took some sandwiches and got into the next taxi going to Nairobi. It was a 200 mile journey. I was totally unprepared, but I trusted God. I arrived in Nairobi, at about one o'clock in the afternoon. I decided to go to the Nairobi Hilton where I knew that they served good coffee. Before leaving for Kenya my mother, Amelia, had told me that an old friend of hers, called Horace Butler, and his wife Elsie, had moved from South Africa to Kenya at about the same time that we were going to be there. She said that she had not seen Horace for many years; indeed since she was a teenager. However, she had followed Horace’s life progress whilst he had been a missionary around Africa. She said that if ever I needed any help in Kenya he might be able to help me. Fortunately I remembered his name and looked his name up in the telephone directory at the Hilton hotel. His name was not there; then I realised that, if he had just arrived in Nairobi, his name would not appear in the telephone directory, anyway. I remembered that he worked for the Assemblies of God, Pentecostal Church. I looked up Assemblies of God. There were no entries in the telephone directory. I then looked up ‘P’ for Pentecostal, and there were seven entries for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. I prayed and felt I should ring the middle one, the fourth. As far as I remember it was the secretary. This was the first number I telephoned. When the phone was answered, I said "I wonder if you can help me -- it is a long shot -- I am trying to find someone called Horace Butler, who works for the Assemblies of God church in Nairobi. He has only recently moved there and his telephone number is not in the book." "I am sorry, I do not know this person,” was the man’s reply; -- in the background I could overhear whoever I was speaking to, asking his wife if she knew Horace Butler; she was obviously washing up (because I could hear the dishes in the sink). He then came back to the phone after a moment and said, "Actually, we did meet him for a few moments when he first came here a few months ago, at a large crusade, but we do not know where he is now." I was just about to put the phone down when the man I was talking to said. "Hang on; Horace Butler is walking up our driveway right now!" Horace Butler had left his home on the way to central Nairobi. He had decided to pop in to see a brother organisation, on his way. He had not got a telephone, and therefore could not make an appointment and decided to drop in, on spec, to a place he had never been to before, to people he hardly knew. As he walked up the driveway, the door opened and someone shouted. "There is someone on the telephone for you!" Can you imagine his surprise? I said to him. "My mother was Amelia Wigglesworth, and apparently you were young people in your youth group church 40 years ago. Is there any chance that I can have a piece of floor to sleep on for the night, please?" Horace said that it was no problem, but asked me where I was. I told him that I was in the Hilton hotel. "Go back there at three o'clock", he said, “My wife and daughter always go there during shopping. They always wear overcoats even though it is hot in Nairobi, so you cannot miss them; one wears a green coat and the other blue." I looked ahead and about 10 feet in front of me there were two ladies, one wearing a green coat sitting next to one in blue. I could hardly believe this! I said "Did you say green and blue coats?" (I could imagine this person, in my minds eye, thinking through "who are you, Henry? -- is what I said too difficult?") I said, "I think they are in front of me now". "They can't be," he said. "They only go there at three o'clock; always the same time at the same place.” I handed the telephone to the African in the queue behind me and asked him to hold the receiver for a moment. I went across to the ladies in the green and blue coats - “Are you Mrs Butler?" I asked. "Yes!" said one lady -- looking rather surprised. How remarkable! I had tried to find and telephone someone who had not spoken to my mother for 40 years, who had not got a telephone, who had left his home without any plan, who had decided to go to the house he had never been to before, to speak to a person he hardly knew, was greeted by someone as he walked up the drive to be told that there was someone on the telephone wanted to speak to him at that moment; and this person was standing right in front of his wife and daughter in a hotel a few miles away. Now that's coincidence! That evening, having installed myself at Horace Butler's house, I decided to go down the road to thank the person who was ‘God's communication and contact’ for me that day -- I also wanted to ask if I could use the telephone to phone Judith to tell her that I was okay. When I walked up the driveway of his house, I saw about seven or eight cars on the driveway. Inside the house with there were only two people. I commented that I expected the house to be full of people with so many cars outside. I was told that the cars belonged to them. This did not satisfy me because I still could not understand why seven cars belonged to two people. I was told that they had some cars that belonged to missionaries who had gone home on furlough and that these cars were being sold. I saw a connection immediately. I asked if I might buy one. They said they saw no reason why not, because I was also missionary. However, they said that the car that would most likely suit me most would be a Peugeot 204 estate. They had three Peugeot 204 estate cars for sale; but they told me that to work in the driveway but the best condition car was in a place called Goi Bei. I told them that I was new to Kenya and did not know where Goi Bei was. They offered me a cup of coffee, after I had phoned Judith. They asked me where I lived and I told them I lived in Kisumu. "Don't you know where Goi Bay is?" they asked They told me that it was only 6 miles from Kisumu! That weekend held about three, or more, similar extravagant coincidences like the one above. I felt myself being buoyed along by the Holy Spirit and given the strength to overcome many obstacles; but this was only after having spent a lot of time in prayer and preparation. People around me saw God working in front of their own eyes. It was quite remarkable -- I shall never forget it. You can imagine the rest of the story is that I returned to Kisumu; a few weeks later my arm had healed, and I was able to go and look at this wonderful car, which lasted us, the two years we spent in Kisumu. It was a brilliant car. I believe that, just as Jesus was able to find the coin in the fish’s mouth in order to pay a tax bill, so he can provide material things for us, as well as control and provide for some more the spiritual and mental aspects of life. It is very important that each one of us tests the spirits involved in experiences of life, as the Scripture tells us to do. An authentic testimony should not fear a question. Please let me know whether you think this is a true testimony of God at work in providing for the physical needs. I have collected several other stories of a similar nature, with the intention of being an encouragement to others towards their faith in God through Jesus Christ; secondly I wish to avoid losing the stories as time passes by. Please could you pass any comments you have about this story to me using the e-mail address? henry@fardells.com Henry Fardell 20071007
Total votes: 465
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:31:08 +0000Coincidence ID:3431

Country Vicar

My mother was at the village summer fair and saw a friend dressed very smartly in a red and white striped blazer, a straw boater, cream slacks and cream shoes. She jokingly asked him what on earth he was wearing, he replied 'My country vicar outfit, of course,'. 'You never see a country vicar wearing that!' she scoffed. Right on cue, our (usually not-so-dapper) vicar came round the corner in precisely the same outfit.
Total votes: 465
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:30:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3430

Birthday Coincidences

Though apparently fairly common, my little sister, my Grandad and I share the same birthday, the 17th October. This year however, is special, as it's my sister's 18th, my 21st and my Grandad's 80th birthday on the same day.
Total votes: 453
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:29:29 +0000Coincidence ID:3429

Dreaming real life

When I was 30 and working in London, one night I dreamed about a hairdresser who used to cut my hair when I was 8 - 13 years old in Nottingham. I hadn't seen him for 17 years. The next day on the way home I saw him on the tube. I asked him "are you Bryn, you used to have a hairdressers business in Nottingham", he said "yes". I didn't tell him about my dream!
Total votes: 498
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:28:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3428

Birmingham hotel sleepwalk

About 15 years ago I stayed one night on business at a large new city centre hotel in Birmingham. I didn't have any pyjamas with me and slept naked. At about 3 a.m. I got up and stepped out of my room, which clicked shut behind me just as I woke up. Luckily there was a laundry store on my floor and I was able to borrow a bathrobe, went down to reception and after explaining, was let back into my room. A couple of years ago I heard a Radio 5 Live presenter, I think it was Nicky Campbell, recount on his breakfast show that he had had exactly this experience, also in a Birmingham hotel.
Total votes: 535
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:17:42 +0000Coincidence ID:3427

Scarborough

I trained as a nurse in SCARBOROUGH, North Yorkshire. While I was there my half sister who I did not know existed at that time went there on her honeymoon. Later in life I "discovered" her existance and traced her to SCARBOROUGH in Ontario, Canada. Much later I met my husband in Tobago and we got married in SCARBOROUGH, Tobago.
Total votes: 720
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 01:04:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3426

Pages