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As a child, I and my younger brother, grew up in Liverpool, in a loving but non-Christian family, although my Mum did occasionally go to church when we were young and believed in God, my Dad, did not. From about 10, I was often on my own devices as Mum and Dad both worked to make ends meet. I ended up mixing with ‘the wrong crowd’, a group where pornography and smoking (cigarettes only) were openly explored as a young teen. I had some involvement with local Anglican church through Scouts and the church football team but never really heard much about Jesus or the Gospel.
I was academically very capable and went to Southampton University, where I studied Chemistry gaining a PhD in 1976. I rejected any ‘God squad’ advances from other students on campus yet encountered Jesus amongst a few friends who were Christians and they had a major impact on me. I since reflected that God was continually putting His people around me to draw me to Him. I became very independent and driven and often experienced others letting me down therefore I just did it my way!
After working for a variety of companies in the 1980s, qualifying with a Diploma in Marketing, I ran my own Marketing business from 1989, and looked at lots of business ventures and get-rich-quick schemes to supplement my income. I read lots of positive mental attitude books through the early 90s, a few of which included references to Jesus and Christianity; it was this continual, loving pursuit by Jesus that eventually drew me to Him.
After University, I met and fell in love with Anabel and we married in 1983 and moved to Bloxham in 1986 and our family grew to 4 with two children (now adults). I asked Jesus into my life in 1993 when my business went down and this almost led me to bankruptcy. I know now that it was Jesus working in my life and He freed me (John 8:32) spiritually, emotionally and financially.
I was a closet Christian at first, somewhat embarrassed that I had given Christians a hard time (and now I was one, too!!) but it was through my wife that I was led into a deeper walk with the Lord and she encouraged me to do an Alpha Course (introduction to Christianity) in 1997 at Bloxham Baptist Church. I gave my life to Christ in a public profession of faith then and was baptised in 1999. Being part of Bloxham Baptist Church over the years has given me a group of Christian brothers and sisters, part of Christ’s family, to love and be loved, to care and be cared for.
One Bible verse stood out to me in those early days and has become something I have learned to stand on continually and has been so true now in my life. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”
Since then my faith has grown and deepened over the years as Jesus has led and guided me, cleaning me up from all the ‘stuff’ that stops us living a full and free life (my sin). Subsequently, He has been there with me through four redundancies and life’s continual ups and downs (John 16:33). Now I know without any doubt that there is so much more to Jesus and the Christian life than we are living; a life with Jesus full of adventure and love (John 10:10).
I have a strong identity in Christ. As His Disciple and Ambassador, I am committed to trusting Jesus and following Him in all that I do. Although now retired from the marketplace, I now spend much of my time was a “missionary” sowing the Good News of Jesus (the Gospel) to folks in and around Banbury and Bloxham who are (as I was) themselves lost and far from the wonderful steadying influence of Jesus. Jesus is everything; the hope of the world.