The Parish of Burchetts Green

Below is a first article in what I hope will become a series, ‘A personal journey in faith’. We can gain so much help and encouragement from the experience of others in their Christian lives. Perhaps you might be willing to write about your own journey. If so. please send your copy to me and to the editor Lynn - kbnicholls@hotmail.com and lynnpenfold@waitrose.com and we will publish one each month. Thank you Richard, for being willing to share your story. Rev Keith.



My first religious experience was attending a convent as a five year old. I should explain that my mother came from a Catholic background. Anyway, on my first day at the convent I met nuns for the first time. Wow, did they frighten me...it was a French order and the hoods with wings just added to the fright.

 

In train-ing!

If you were naughty during break times, you were attached to a nun by a safety pin. The next child would be attached to the first and so on. On a bad day, the chain looked more like a train with the nun acting as the engine!


I was baptised into the Church of England at the age of nine...the vicar didn’t offer to cradle me in his arms the Keith way! I attended  a Church of England school.


Development

Whilst my friends joined the Scouts, I joined the Boy’s Brigade as an 11 year old, becoming an officer, only leaving just before Sandra and I were married. I suppose attending both the parish church in Hendon as well as the Congregational church the BB was attached to, did help me to develop my faith, albeit leaving little spare time some Sundays.


Power of prayer

There have been many occasions in these intervening years, when my faith has been both tested as well as strengthened, but I have never failed to be amazed at the power of prayer.

For instance, as a 14 year old, I was offered the chance to represent the BB at the International Keswick Convention. There were around 50 or so boys, all camping on a hillside. It had rained for the previous five days and the access to the campsite was water-logged.


We had invited delegates from the convention to come to the camp-site on the Tuesday. We were urged to pray for a dry day and for the ground to dry and it did!


The next day, in the convention marquee, the preacher asked those who had  found Jesus to stand up. Well I did, assuming all my pals would as well. You guessed it: I was on my own! Not one of them joined me – case of sitting on your hands! Did I feel awkward, you bet I did. In fact, if the ground had opened up I would have been quite happy.


The next day, I was so concerned that I went to see the padre and told him that I didn’t want to be a vicar. He assured me that finding Jesus doesn’t mean having to joining Holy Orders!


None of us leads a perfect life; we are after all only human. We can only try our best. Through out  my life, my faith has helped me. I count myself lucky that I stood up in that big tent all those years ago.


Richard

A personal journey...