After 22 years as a teacher I left to become a pastor at a church in Brierley Hill where I stayed for another 22 years until retirement last year. I now volunteer as a chaplain for West Midlands Police.
I was brought up on a council estate in Kingswinford and my father was deputy head at Hawbush Primary School. My mother came from Kinlochleven, a village not far from Glencoe in Scotland, and I still have family living there.
Some people think Christianity isn’t relevant today but I have met with all sorts of people who recognise that it is and it is certainly relevant in my life.
When I’m on holiday or have my working clothes on, helping my friend with his building work, people are obviously unaware that I was ever a pastor for over 20 years and it always provides a talking point.
I know the difference the Church can make. During my time as pastor, it bought a house in Dudley which was used as a rehab centre and run by a charity which saw amazing results. One of the lads who went there who was into drugs and had served time in prison turned his life around and is now pastor of a church in Dudley.
An incident which stands out in my mind was when a lady asked me to go and see her dying mother. I had never met her before and when I went to visit she was with her husband. They were deeply in love and I remember her husband saying they simply loved being in each other’s presence. It really made me consider the power of presence; just being there for people through the ups and downs of life.
To me, every day is Easter in the sense I speak to the risen Jesus but usually at Easter time I join some people from other churches in Brierley Hill on Good Friday to remember Jesus’ death for all who trust Him, following which we walk through the town together. Then on Easter Sunday we meet at my own church to celebrate that He is risen with the promise of eternal life to all His followers.
I think for a lot of people though Easter is all about the chocolate eggs - and I do like that bit too!
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