This convinced me that rather than working in a bank, which had been my
original plan, I wanted to work for God in a more tangible way. From my
mid-teens I have had a growing desire to see God's people become all He
wanted them to be. This led to my becoming first a Sunday School teacher
and then a preacher of God's Word - the Bible.
After spending two years training at the Haven School of Evangelism, I
accepted a job offer from Anne, who was one of my old youth group
leaders. I was to work for the Christian Literature Centre; first in Newton
Abbot and then in Plymouth. (A Christian bookshop is not only a place to
find good books, but is also a Christian witness on the high street. Often a
Christian bookshop is the first introduction people have to Christianity -
before they will ever walk through the doors of a church.)
After moving back to Plymouth, Anne and I realised that God had been
preparing both of us for more than just working together in the shop. In
May 1991 we were married. Life partners, as well as ministry partners!
During the next 20 years we raised our three children (Timothy, Deborah
and Susanna), I became a church elder and we sought to come to terms
with the changing face of Christian bookselling in Britain.
In 2011 it became clear that the time had come to prepare to close the
shop. It had not been economically viable for some years; although we had
been able to continue through the generosity of the Lord's people.
However, we had an increasing sense that the Lord was preparing us for a
new work. What this was became clear early in 2013. The early months of
that year were a time of massive change for us. We closed the shop, sold
our house, paid all the creditors and moved to a new area of Plymouth. But
whilst this was going on, Stephen Ford announced he would be stepping
down as the pastor of Dawlish Baptist church early in 2014. When the
church approached me, we began to explore the possibility of a move to
Dawlish. As a family we went to the Lord with three questions - Why us,
why Dawlish, and why now? We cannot claim to know the answer to these
questions yet, but it is clear to us that the Lord's hand is in this, just as we
have seen Him working in every other area of our lives.
We believe that God is Sovereign in all things. So we know that He not only
has our best interests in mind in calling us to Dawlish, but also the best
interests of the church and the town of Dawlish itself. How? That we look
forward to seeing!
Over-riding all of these personal concerns, we know that God will always
work to bring glory to His Name. This has been the primary concern of
Anne and I throughout our lives. In spite of our human frailties and
failings, our hearts' desire is to see God's Name glorified, His Church built
up in its most holy faith, and men, women, boys and girls come to a saving
knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our prayer is that, God-willing, this is what we shall see during our
ministry in Dawlish.
I became a Christian through the
Sunday School of a Brethren
Chapel in Plymouth at the age of
10 or 11. During my mid-6th form
summer holiday from Plympton
Grammar School, I spent a month
working in the south of France
with an Operation Mobilisation