St Andrews

Rev Brian Hall

I came to faith around the age of 22. I had no church background and had never been to anything like "Sunday School" as a child. I remember being given a Bible at school but it wasn't well read. And so I reached early adulthood without having had, to my knowledge at least, any conscious thoughts about God. Nothing that might be termed spiritual or a faith-issue was awakened in me, not even when my Father died when I was 12 years old.

On leaving school I trained as tool-room engineer. I worked as a machinist for a number of companies producing a wide range of components some of which were for the aerospace industry. In December 1981 without much warning I was made redundant. The next year our so was very unsettling as I found myself in and out of work. Three years earlier I had married and we were expecting our second child. Our aspirations at the time were for a happy life, a bigger house and a better car.

Being made redundant shattered my self-esteem and I began to re-assess what life was all about. Around that time, having met the local vicar, my wife suggested that we go to church one Sunday morning. Much to her surprise I agreed and off we went. Hearing all about Jesus I soon wondered why nobody had ever told me about it all before. As we began to attend church more often I realized that we were among people who believed that Jesus is alive, that Jesus can be known as Saviour, Lord and Friend. I also realized that Christians have a great capacity to love people and we soon began to feel part of the church family.

It began to dawn on me that connecting with Jesus is all about connecting with God and experiencing forgiveness and freedom. It began to dawn on me that the Jesus who had lived, died and rose from the dead required a personal response. And so, like many others before and since, I took the first steps of faith. I was later encouraged to make it "public" that I wanted to follow "The Way" and be known as a Christian. This I did before the church and before some of my family and friends.

My journey of faith led me to become an ordained minister in the Church of England. No church is perfect but I believe the church can offer real hope.

Looking back on my experience of coming to faith it seems to me that God has many and varied ways of getting people’s attention. Not all Christians have come to faith after a crisis in life but many have, myself included.

Jesus once said of himself, "I am the way and the truth and the life."
I have discovered for myself that following Jesus gives me a sense of direction in order to navigate my way through a world that can sometimes be confusing and unsettling.