I don’t have a particularly incredible story to tell, because I became a Christian when I was a very young teenager. I had a fairly difficult childhood, although I was loved, which I genuinely believe is the most important thing. My father was seriously, critically, ill since before I was born, and was in and out of long-stay hospital, which caused a lot of unhappiness in our home. He died when I was thirteen, and I lived alone with my mother, who was profoundly depressed and sometimes talked of suicide. The doctor also put me on tranquillisers for depression.
I had been going to an idyllic Anglican village church all my life, and was due to be confirmed shortly. However, everything changed when I went on a trip to see the stageshow ‘Godspell’ in London. This was not a Christian event at all, but a humorous musical. As I watched it, though, something amazing happened – I realised that God was real, and alive! Unbelievably I had never fully appreciated this at church. After the show ended and the theatre emptied, I sat there for what seemed like an age, unable to leave, crying as I realised God’s love for me.
I didn’t know anyone who I could turn to for help, so I decided that I would become a Christian in a few weeks’ time, when the Bishop laid his hands on me to be confirmed. I committed my life to God when this happened, and a friend of my mother’s gave me a ‘Living Bible’. For about a year this was all I had, but I loved reading it and praying, and would dance around my bedroom in worship (something I had never seen done). Eventually I found and joined a church youth group in Maidenhead, and made Christian friends, many of whom, I’m privileged to say, are still friends today in our church some thirty years later.