I’m the pastor of Beech Hill Church, but I haven’t always believed in God. I grew up in a family that weren’t believers in God. I remember we went to church once in my childhood, but it was for a pantomime!

When I was about 7 I started going to a church kids’ group at the local Methodist church in Drighlington (the village where I grew up). The leaders there talked to us about the Bible, and about Jesus and his death on the cross and what it was for- paying the price for our wrong-doing. It was the first time I had ever heard a message like that. I kept going for a while, then stopped as Cubs was on the same night.

I became a Christian a few years later when I was 12. I was now going to an youth group for 11-14s. I remember our youth group leader explaining something Jesus said: ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Luke 5:31-32) He talked about Jesus coming not for ‘good’ people, but for people who knew that they needed help (healthy people don’t need a doctor- sick people do). Even at such a young age I realised that that was me, and I went home and prayed for God to forgive me and became a Christian.

My friends were surprised. I was always the geeky science kid (I continued to be!). They thought I’d gone mad, believing that God made the world, believing that Jesus rose from the dead! My parents thought it was a phase, though after a few years I think they realised it wasn’t! My mum actually became a Christian in 2016.

It hasn’t always been easy, but definitely worth it. I’m more convinced now, nearly 30 years later that what I heard all those years ago is true, and that others need to hear it, which is why I ended up training to be a pastor and going into church work.

If you want to explore this further you can come and hear more any Sunday, or explore more at one our church courses that we put on, or there are excellent links on our exploring christianity page.