Meet the people: Peter's story

Peter’s story:

   My first “religious experience was not a happy one. In later life my mother told me how as a young child I refused after one attendance to continue at Sunday School.  I have no recollection of this or of why.

    The next step was as a teenager.  My local church ran a youth club.  Many of my friends attended so I joined as well.  We were expected to attend evensong on a Sunday – which was quite popular as it meant an evening out!  From this however came the beginnings of faith.  One influence was the curate who ran the youth club and another was the church service where the atmosphere of the building, the language of the prayer book and bible, the liturgy, with the psalms, canticles and hymns seeped into me.  I felt something – the presence of God?

      My defining moment came when I was in the Sixth Form.  I spent some time – on my own – in the local park wrestling with what I believed.  Blind faith was not acceptable – after all the Nazis and Communists had faith in what they did!  I had to think, was there a creator God or was everything the result of chance?  For me the only sensible answer to the world, to the universe, was there is a God. And so to Jesus.  There was sufficient evidence he existed, but was he the son of God?  Crucial to that was the resurrection story including the effects on the disciples.  Once I decided on the truth of that I had my faith.

     Since then it has been a story of how that has developed and what I have done about it – a story of ups and downs.  Two years’ national service gave little opportunity.  Then three years at university with chapel services revived my feeling for Anglican liturgy and gave me some spiritual refreshment.  After that it was into the world of work in the form of teaching with some but not fully regular church services on Sundays.

The biggest change in my life for me personally was my marriage which brought me to Packington and so to Packington Church. For the first time I really became part of the community of the church, involved in its activities and its running, and developing and deepening my faith particularly through the influence of the people with whom I came into contact – both clerical and lay.  In a sense I came “home” – I belonged to my family, to the community, to the church, to God.

And now as the years go by I can’t do as much as I used to so I am winding down on the jobs and activities – but not I believe on my commitment to God.

 


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