I grew up on a farm 20 miles south of Streatham, near Box Hill. We kept several thousand free range chickens and this picture of me and my sister was taken in the mid 60s.
My family were practicing Christians, but as I went along to church every week I found it all rather boring, and something to be endured rather than enjoyed.
As a teenager I enjoyed playing sport at every opportunity and the things I was hearing at church didn’t seem relevant to me. I thought that if heaven was going to be like church all the time then I didn’t want to go to heaven!
At 18 I began to meet more young Christians who were genuine in their faith and for whom life didn’t seem to be boring. I slowly realised that the things I had been taught were true and that being a Christian wasn’t about joining a church club, but about having a relationship with Jesus Christ who gave His life for me.
I was baptised just before I went off to Bristol Uni. and I met lots more Christians there who helped me see how relevant the things taught in the Bible were to everyday life.
I learned that the most important person in my life wasn’t me any more, but Jesus, and that the best way to be happy is not by serving yourself but by serving others.
After Uni. I went back to my church in Dorking and helped run the youth group with my brother. A few years later I married a young lady who had been born and brought up at the church in Hambro Rd, and 14 years ago we moved into London so we could help the church more.
Our church motto is ‘making Jesus known’ and in various ways, such as Parent & Toddler groups, Sunday School & Youth clubs we are seeking to do that. . We also use my parents’ farm to run camps for children. As I learned more from the Bible and from the other Christians at the church I realised increasingly how the ‘Good News’ about Jesus Christ really can change lives. God is our creator and the Bible is the ‘maker’s instructions’, user guide and background history all rolled into one. It also warns us how things go wrong when we ignore God and go our own way. The Bible explains perfectly why there is so much trouble and suffering in the world, and also why people prefer to go their own way rather than to follow Jesus. I find that most people are not interested in finding out more about Jesus. They either have their own ‘religion’ or they say they are ‘not religious’.
But true Christianity isn’t a Religion; it’s a Rescue, and a Relationship.
Lots of people claim to be Christians and for them it is only a religion. Their religious rituals give them the comfort they look for without them ever knowing the certainty of having their sins forgiven by Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself had some very strong words to say against these religious people. He called them whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones (i.e. they looked ok on the outside but on the inside they were dead!) I don’t consider myself religious. I still do lots of things wrong, but now I know that my Heavenly Father forgives my sins through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. This doesn’t mean that I now live however I like, but in response to Jesus giving His life for me, I now want to give my life to Him in return, and follow Him.