At the end of 1999 I took a life-changing
step, the most important step of my life. Although by modern standards things
outwardly seemed to be going okay, good job, active social life, and so on,
I had been feeling for some time that something was wrong, that an important
aspect of life was missing.
I believed in God but rarely prayed, and only went to Church on family occasions. The feeling led me to pray to God for guidance and forgiveness, and for an answer to my feeling of emptiness. In October I started going to my local Church at the time, St Paul's, in Camberley. One Sunday evening I crept in through the rear doors, and sat in the back row, so no-one would 'pounce' on me or try to befriend me.
Despite my best attempts to sneak out of the rear doors at the end of the service, the Vicar of St Paul's, Mark Chester, spotted me and cheerily introduced himself. Each Sunday I returned to Church, and felt both moved by taking part in the worship and joyous that I had found the answer to the empty feeling - coming to know God. As the months went on I gradually opened up and made new friends amongst the congregation, and realised that the Christians I met did not really conform to any stereotype at all, they were just polite, kind, and warm people - their warmth of character was what struck me most. Over the new year break I took a holiday in the Canary Islands.
On the eve of the new Millennium amongst the fiesta atmosphere in the local town square, with fireworks going off and champagne corks popping, I felt that the Celebration was not just another date, but rather a celebration of the birth of Jesus. I knew then that I wanted to be part of the warmth I had experienced in worshipping with and meeting Christians back at home.
In late January I moved from my parents home to a flat in Virginia Water. The first Sunday evening I went along to Christ Church, and met with an amazingly warm welcome. I decided to become a Christian, and found the support of new friends, and the exceptional teaching at Christ Church helped me enormously in my first steps in the faith. From this recent experience I can say from the heart, if you are curious, or are considering taking a leap of faith, go for it!