I spent my early years in Birkdale on the Lancashire coast, my parents were occasional church attenders and I attended a Congregational (now URC) church there, I still remember being asked into the pulpit aged about 6 as part of a sermon being asked to read something!
As I grew older and busier church was left behind; I first moved to Macclesfield in the 60's when pharmaceutical companies set up there and my father moved with them. Eventually I returned to belief with becoming more independent and thinking around issues of significance, through looking at a meaning beyond ourselves and things like music and the vastness of mountain scenery were instrumental in that; I came to accept the reality of faith and a God I could then name.
After University I spent a few years in computing and then threw that over to join Scargill (a Christian community running holidays and conferences) and possible ordination. Scargill was a time of learning, of seeing me and other Christians values in a very hot house environment. Whilst there I met Beth we married and after a time in Leeds we moved to Macclesfield, we have 2 grown up children.
The last few years have been rather bumpy, events on various levels - family crises, losses of jobs (one very dubious) I'm currently looking around for employment, which in my 60s, has not been easy!
I have tried to follow the call of Christ particularly on justice issues - I was involved as a Traidcraft rep for over 20 years which helped me to think about issues of development and trade. For a number of years I've been a member of Changing Attitude a group which seeks to help the church to think positively about issues of sexuality. Both these calls have cost in terms of commitment and putting my self in difficult positions.
In the last few years I have gained much from the St Michael's contemplative prayer group - being silent in the presence of God and others to allow God to speak rather than a putting of my many concerns and agendas. Silence has its challenge but meeting God there without the defence of words makes me aware of our dependence upon him.
I am a Reader - someone who preaches & takes services. For many years this has been an opportunity to minister but also, I hope, to give time and space for me to hear God's call to me.
I think to draw together these thoughts as I've journeyed I've tried to meet God in the world as it is (and that's usually painful) and to hear His voice even in the noise and challenges we face everyday.
There's been a lot of long term journeys in the above, journeys are messy things it would be nice to arrive! But for the moment I try to find God in the journey, CS Lewis wrote `I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else.' Sometimes the messy nature of what's around us may obscure the view but the stops where is it clear and seeing the panorama give me confidence that the journey is worth while.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
My journey of faith (so far!)
Earlier this year I was asked to write an article for the church magazine on my journey of faith. Here it is.