I was born into a Christian family I was born into a Christian family (close)

Whilst my father was a soldier,
he was also a committed church-goer
and two prior generations were ordained;
even appear as hymn-writers in
the Church of England hymn book
and attended a Christian school
with daily liturgical worship. with daily liturgical worship. (close)

Shortened Morning Prayer daily from the BCP,
but complete on Sundays with Evensong as well.

Here I was,in all my ignorance, Confirmed;
took my first Communion in unbelief;
learnt to play the religious part.
Maybe there was a God
but what of it?
I was thus innoculate against divine reality.

Freed from the constraints of childhood
I found religion irrelevant
Freed from the constraints of childhood
I found religion irrelevant

After a time in the Merchant Navy without religious contact,
I entered Sandhurst and the formality of Church Parades,
spit and polish and the place of ritual over reality.
Despite a church wedding and children's baptism
religion became merely a social convention,
church a time put aside now and again
to be part of the good guys;
a crutch for the crippled
that I did not need,
had grown out of.

When I left the Army, I sought the community of village life,
which took me back to church attendance. which took me back to church attendance. (close)

I joined our neighbour as a bell-ringer.
Being then at church I stayed for services;
Became familiar, known, informative to others;
To my surprise, became churchwarden, authoritive.
Yet without any real conviction.
I paid lip service to clerical concepts,
was obedient to religious rules,
blindly serving.

Persuaded to the Alpha course,
I experienced the reality of God, mysterious, unknown, but real,
and began a fresh journey into the spiritual realm.

Working in Sweden, I was inspired with charismatic fervour
in the Swedish megachurch Livets Ord.
I brought new ideas and life to our church.
drove forward our local Alpha Courses
Upset and disrupted traditionalists,
those unwilling to move on.

Clerical wisdom diverted my energies
to evangelism under the wing of "Walk of a 1000 Men",
which led to many evangelistic missions across the breadth of England
a diploma in Evangelism from Nottingham University.
and qualification in Chelmsford as a lay evangelist.

However growth of knowledge led, inevitably, to questions
and exposed other answers than those of orthodox theology;
Exposed where things did not add up, conflicted.
My eyes, blinded by fixed conviction, were opened to new ideas
new thoughts, uncertainties, concepts which challenged priestly precepts.

Such new ideas led to conflict with orthodox conformity,
challenged the narrowness of unthought-through doctrine;
led to difference, rejection of the church's bounded teaching;
looked anew at the thrust of Christ's message,
its difference from where we are led.

So I drifted out of the evangelical frame into shifting sands
supported only by Internet gurus of the liberal church
and the concepts of Progressive Christianity,
seeking, still, the reality of divinity.

Yet there are dangers on this journey;
on a pathway devised without authorised instruction.
It risks the boundless sink of spirituality,
and deep potholes leading to oblivion
and often on the way
my brain hurts

I have had to learn how to respond to the bullying
of evangelical self-righteous certainty;
the idolatry of replacing God's reality
with the image and worship of Jesus;
the problems of a religion based
on selective bible texts.

I have learnt to see the soi-disant saved as truly lost,
For the journey that they started has gone astray
or stalled in some unlikely cul-de-sac, dead-end.
Somehow they need to be jogged, carefully,
gently into effective motion, along "The Way",
without destroying their present faith centred
on an invented story. .
As St Augustine of Hippo wrote,
"The Church is a whore, but
she is still my mother!"
For there is a truer way
as Jesus told us.
So where am I now?

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This is story of a
spiritual journey,
with little relation
to the time-spans involved.

Each of us,
is unique,
beloved and