Doreen Piri

‘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.


Doreen Piri

10 July 2016