Following Bishop Tim’s challenge to tell our faith stories, both Nick and I decided to include them in a Morning Worship Reflection, when we each led a service as Local Worship Leaders.

Unlike Nick, I didn’t come from a “church” family – yes, I was baptised as a baby, because everyone was then,  but church certainly didn’t feature in my life as I grew up, although eventually several would.

When I was fifteen, one of my schoolfriends invited me to go with her to a youth club, as she didn’t want to go on her own: her older sister already went, and she thought we might enjoy it. “ They are really friendly, and the boys are really nice too!” was her recommendation.   “It’s at the Baptist Church – but you don’t have to go to their church, just as long as you go somewhere once a month.”  I thought we could cope with that, in fact we went to the anglican church across the road . After a while, we thought we would  try the monthly Youth Sevice which all the others said was great, so we did and soon swapped C of E for a much more teenager friendly service. I found I could really accept that Jesus’ sacrifice at Easter forgave every single person, amazing as it was, but it wasn’t until I realised one Sunday evening that this meant me personally, that I needed to respond to this gift. I diffidently told one of our Youth Club Leaders that I thought I should liike to be baptised, and soon was in a preparation class and then was baptised by full immersion. What was good enough for Jesus, I thought, to demonstrate the beginning of a new part of my life, was definitely good enough for me.

After this until it was time for teacher training college, I helped at Sunday School, sang in the choir, all the usual things.

College was more of a blank patch!  Two of us with baptist background tried the local baptist church, but sadly found it neither inspiring or very welcoming – perhaps they just had too many students giving them a try.

When I returned home to teach in a secondary school, not far from my  home, normal service resumed at my home church, interrupted when Dave came to show my brother his car, and the rest is history. We were married in my home church, but then followed another blank patch. We were living in the Medway towns, and the only church nearby was, sadly, an anglican one, whose door I never saw open in the four years we lived there.

Two children and a move to Scotland could have been an even longer blank patch, but another Mum at Playgroup asked if the children might like to go to Sunday School in the Manse, “You could go to the church service if you liked!”  So of course I was soon singing in church again.  The Church of Scotland, often perceived as rather formal, is very welcoming in rural areas,and described me as an Adherent, not a sticky tape, but a member of another christian church, welcomed to join them for communion and worship.

Ten years later we came to Cornwall, but initially church visits were only  with the Youth Club to sing at Christmas, until our daughter Alison was photographing the crib for a college portfolio:

Paul Mellor was taking choir practice at the back, and asked me to to help out for five minutes with a hard bit! That was thirty years ago, and I was back where I knew I ought to be. Again, Icould take communion, but I felt I should make the same commitment that everyone else had made, so I joined the current group to be confirmed that March and I have had the privilege of being a member here ever since. I have  been so blessed in my faith journey by the experience of so many worshipping, christian communities.

So what would I like to say particularly about my faith Journey?

Firstly, God is always there, even when you don’t pay Him much attention, and secondly where ever you end up, there is always some way in which you can find to serve God.  As I have often said, we can’t all have the amazing experiences of a Mother Theresa, or great gifts and talents, but there are so many things we can do . Be ready for a challenge from God  –  and then go for it!