Each member of Grace Church has a personal relationship with God and the knowledge that their sin has been forgiven.
However, none of us was born a Christian; becoming a Christian is a personal decision each of us must make for ourselves. Read the testimonies on this page to find out how some of our members came to trust in Jesus, and the changes that have occurred in their lives as a result of that decision.
"When God wants you, he puts people in your path just at the right time; there is no coincidence when God is working!"
"life hasn't been easy but Jesus is always there for me and gives me the strength to get through. My life would be weak and ineffectual without him in my life"
Hi, I'm Alison. I am married to Martin and we have two teenage children, Louise (15) and Daniel (13). I was brought up in Syston in a family where going to church every week was important. Sunday School carried on until 14 in that church and when I reached the class for 12-14's there were no people to take that class so an elderly lady from another church came to teach us. She began to teach us what Christianity is all about: what Jesus has done for us and how to become a Christian. I hadn't really understood what it was all about but I believed I had. I went to confirmation classes because I really thought I was a Christian. When I came home from school one day my Mum asked me why I was going to get confirmed as I wasn't a Christian and that I would go to Hell if I died that night! I was completely devastated. I had learned enough at church to believe in Hell and if I wasn't a Christian I knew that I would go there when I died.
That night in bed I thought a lot about what my Mum had said and realised that she was right, I wasn't a Christian and I knew I needed to be one. I remembered what my Sunday School teacher had told me and I knew I needed Jesus, I couldn't become a Christian by myself. I called out to him and told him I was truly sorry for living my life my way instead of living it his way and asked him to forgive me and make me a Christian. Immediately I was filled with the most amazing peace and joy, and I knew for certain that now when I died I would be going to Heaven and not to Hell.
That all took place over 20 years ago and Jesus has not let me down, even though I have let him down many times. Life hasn't been easy but Jesus is always there for me and gives me the strength to get through. My life would be weak and ineffectual without him in my life as that is the kind of person I was without him.
"That was a pivotal point in my life and I have never regretted that decision in all the years since"
I was born into a loving, caring, secure, but non-Christian family in 1965 in Shepperton, Middlesex. We never went to church, not even at Christmas, but that was fine by me at the time. I was brought up in a happy home. My parents had a happy marriage until my father died in July of 2010, only three months short of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I was the middle of three sons, but unfortunately the only one to recognise Jesus as my saviour (so far).
I did not become a Christian until I was twenty two in autumn 1987. Some of my friends were Christian and we would occasionally discuss Christianity, and they would invite me to church but I always refused, erroneously thinking I had better things to do. I was a good person, not hurting anybody, and being helpful when I could. I didn't smoke or take drugs. I was even teetotal.
They persisted and eventually I agreed to go to a mid-week meeting at Walton-on-Thames Baptist church where there was an evangelist speaking. I do not remember his name, but God does, and he spoke of his life as a biker, in a gang, and how he nearly killed a man over a trivial matter. At that point, realising what he had nearly done, to cut a long story short, he knew he had to turn his life around, and he heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed his life to God.
He explained how Jesus had lived a perfect life before he died to take my sins upon Himself. Taking the punishment I deserved, for living life my own way and without God. It didn't matter how good I thought I was, I was still a sinner and in need of a Saviour, and that Saviour is Jesus Christ. All I had to do was repent of those sins, telling God I was sorry for them, sorry enough to turn away from them and to Him. To commit my life to God and then to do my utmost in following Him as found in the Bible.
I had heard this from my Christian friends in our discussions, and they hadn't said or done anything wrong, but for some reason I did not respond to God until I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the evangelist. I knew I needed to repent of my sins, however slight they had been in my sight; I now knew them for what they were. A barrier between me and God. There may be different consequences for different sins in this life, but there is only one eternal consequence. Separation from God for eternity. But God Himself had broken that barrier down and provided a way for me to be with Him. All I had to do was take it.
At the end of his talk the evangelist prayed and asked anybody who wanted to, to come forward and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. I sat there knowing what I should do, but not doing it. I wondered what people would think, but mainly I was just nervous. Going up in front of a group of people was, for me, a nerve racking thing to do. I don't know if all this was plain on my face, but one of my Christian friends, who was sitting beside me, asked me if I wanted him to go up with me. I said yes. We went up and through to a side room where we prayed and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
That was a pivotal point in my life and I have never regretted that decision in all the years since. I have tried to do my best to live according to God's standards. I have not always succeeded, but know that God is always there to pick me up again and point me in the right direction like the loving Father He is. Since that time I have always known God's presence, guidance, and provision in my life.
"Becoming a Christian was just the start of a journey that I know will continue for the rest of my life. The Bible doesn't promise us an easy life, but it does promised that God will help us to get through whatever life throws at us."
My name is Paul Harrison and I am a leader at Grace Church. In my day job, I work for Sure Start which is a government funded programme that works with families who have children under 5. I have 4 children; 2 daughters who are both married and have moved away from Loughborough and they both have 2 children each. We also have 2 boys at home.
Outside work I have a number of interests other than my role within the church. I am involved with a local charity that works to support families who have a child with a disability. I am also a keen motorcyclist, I enjoy go-karting, and I also enjoy reading and music. At church I do a lot of the teaching and am also involved with the music.
I was born in Liverpool and was brought up in a Christian home. My dad was a Baptist minister and so I was taken to church from being a baby but as far back as I can remember I understood that the Bible teaches that this did not make me a Christian. I knew that being a Christian was about having a personal relationship with God.
When I was 7 years of age I realised that I had done wrong things and that as a result, instead of having a relationship with God I was separated from him. I realised that the whole point of Jesus dying on the first "Good Friday" was that He took my punishment so that I could be forgiven. Although my understanding of this was at a very simple level at the time, I asked Jesus to forgive me and to help me to live my life in the way that He wanted me to from then on.
This is when I became a Christian. This was the start of a life-long journey of gradually becoming the person that God wants me to be and to live my life to please Him. I am still a long way off being the person that He made me to be but little by little He is changing me.
When I was 9, we moved to Rhyl in North Wales. The next important stage in my Christian life was at the age of 11 or 12 when my faith was first challenged seriously. At school we were being taught about evolution and for the first time I really came across the view that science had disproved the Bible. I realised that if this was true, I was wasting my life believing a lie and so I started to look into the whole matter. The more I looked into this the more I realised that my belief made much more logical sense than what I was being taught at school. I have continued to think about these things and read around the subject through the rest of my life. One of the more recent books that I have found helpful in thinking about this is called "The reason for God" by Tim Keller. I am now convinced that the Christian world view gives us a very clear and logical explanation for the way that things are in the world and that in fact it gives us the best explanation that I have come across.
By the time I was 14 I was passionate about my faith and so was baptised as a way of telling everyone that I had put my trust in Jesus to save me from the effects and the consequences of all of the wrong things that I had done (what the Bible calls sin).
Within 12 months we moved as a family to Rothley but this was the start of a very difficult time for my family and also for me personally. We moved in the August and in the October my dad left the family. We then found out that he had been having an affair for a number of years.
This shook the whole family in many ways but it particularly challenged my faith. My parents had taught me most of what I knew about the Bible and now my dad had been shown to have been living a lie. I had to face up to the possibility that this proved that my faith was not trustworthy.
As I started to work these questions through, I questioned everything that I believed and tried to work through whether the Bible could be trusted. Over the months and years I realised that the fact that people fail and disobey God does not mean that God can't be trusted but rather that people are weak and that we all make a mess of life. I came through this time even stronger in my faith as I realised that in my fragile and changing world, God was the only person that could really be relied upon. I settled into a life that was busy working in the church; teaching Sunday School, running youth clubs, preaching and also leading the music on Sundays and playing in a band.
After some time, my mum had a visit from a family friend who had just been through a divorce. Her husband had left her with 2 children under 3. Sue came to visit my mum because she didn't know any other Christians who had been through a divorce. To cut a long story very short Sue and I were married 9 months later.
I was working in the heavy engineering sector looking after stock control and production planning. Sue had given up work at the bank and worked part time first of all cleaning and then at a local supermarket. We had 2 more children so now had 2 girls and 2 boys. This was a difficult time; money was tight; I was working long hours and as soon as I came in, Sue went out to work. On top of this, one of our children was very difficult to handle. After a real battle with school, the health service, etc we found out that he has Autism, Tourettes Syndrome and ADHD. This was very difficult but as we started to understand what was going on we were able to help him to deal with the difficulties that he had. From there we started working on a voluntary basis helping other parents who were having similar problems to us.
In 2003, as a result of our personal experiences and our voluntary work, I moved jobs and started working in the NHS helping families with disabled children.
We continued to work hard in the church and have for many years been involved in children's clubs, youth clubs, music and other things. Early in 2009, about 12 of us felt that God was telling us to start a new church and so Grace Church was born. I love being a part of Grace Church. We are just ordinary people who are serious about living for God and learning together to live the way He wants us to. We have a very relaxed and informal set up.
Although many people have had much more difficult lives than me, I have had challenges in my life. Through all of the difficult times, God has been there to help me through. I know that I am far from perfect and regularly mess up and have to come back to Him, ask Him to forgive me again and to help me to stop making the same mistakes over and over again. What I have learned though is that God is so good. He loves us and is patient with us. Becoming a Christian was just the start of a journey that I know will continue for the rest of my life. The Bible doesn't promise us an easy life, but it does promise that God will help us to get through whatever life throws at us.
I believe that living for God is the best choice that anyone can make and so want to share with everyone that God is real, that He loves us that He wants to have a relationship with us and that Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins so that we can have that relationship with Him.
If you would like to know more about what the Bible has to say and to have a relationship with God then come along to Grace. We don't have all of the answers but we know that God does. We are not perfect but we know that God loves us as we are and we help each other to get to know God better and to be more and more the people He wants us to be.
"I am unable to do anything that is able to satisfy God, for nothing I do can compare to God's standards."