‘Now I’m a real Christian’
I was born in Hartlepool in 1927 and moved to Scotland at the age of twelve. I met my husband at the Methodist Church in Rosyth at the age of fifteen. We were married in 1947, both of us at the age of twenty. Ron and I had three girls, Pat, Linda and Alex. As a family we moved to Lancashire where the church was not of a walking distance and I fell out of the habit of going to church.
Church was a bit hit and miss over several years. I have lived in Berkshire, Derbyshire, Belgium, Cumbria, Hampshire and Essex, before coming to Leicestershire.
In Cumbria I ran an Age Concern Drop-In Centre at the Methodist Church and a Day Care at the Catholic Church, for twenty-six years. I didn’t feel I belonged to either one. I tried a small Mission Church for a while, but gave up when a new minister arrived. I felt he shouted religion at you. After Ron died, I tried the Mission again and attended every week.
I then felt I could not live on my own and moved to be near my daughter, Alex. I attended Ferndale Baptist Church in Essex where I really felt welcome and subsequently became a member there.
I moved to Leicester in 2013 and joined my daughter and son-in-law, Pat and John Harrison at WBC. Soon I had my membership transferred. I joined Ruth Atkins’ housegroup where discussions on their God experiences made me realise that I hadn’t had any! It worried me that I wasn’t a real Christian. The group suggested I go on an Alpha Course.
Before the course started, I had a God experience when Pat went up for a healing prayer. I couldn’t stop crying. I wasn’t crying for Pat and it wasn’t tears of sadness, but tears of joy. A second experience, during a Dwelling Place, was when I felt a peace settle within me. I am sure it was God-given.
Then, during the Alpha Away Day, I started shaking and everything was shining and bright, and at the same time peaceful.
During attending Alpha, I lost the sight of one eye. It was just like a shutter coming over it. I was determined to carry on for God was still with me, and I needed no pity. Since then, due to medication to save the other eye, I have lost mobility and developed diabetes. I thank God for every day and my gradual health improvement.
Since Alpha I have been desperate and very impatient to be baptised. I feel God is calling for me to do it.
10 July 2016