I was born into a church-going family and can never remember not
heading up to St Nicholas at Chiswick on a Sunday. By the age of 8 I was going on Christian-orientated holidays run by Scripture Union, PGL and the like and started to learn about the Holy Spirit and the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus. When I was 10 my parents took us on a week-long retreat to St Mary's Convent in Wantage. I don't remember much about the place, but one summer morning I was up very early and wandering around the garden when it seemed like the most natural thing to pray that simple prayer to give my life to Jesus.
In my late teens I drifted away, though, drawn by worldly considerations and, to some extent by a subtle dissatisfaction with the liturgy-driven service the C of E then favoured. I never stopped believing, but the urge to act on my faith and accept the consequences of it had gone. That situation continued for the next 30 years, through my time in Greece and at University, and the first 2/3 of my Police career. In 2000, though, Naomi was having a really tough time with her depression, feeling trapped in the house with few real friends, and decided she'd like to start going to church. After a few false starts we landed on the doorstep of Bury Baptist Church.
I almost had to be dragged kicking and screaming into that place, fearing a hopelessly "happy clappy" atmosphere. I couldn't have been more wrong, instantly felt at home and my dormant faith was rekindled. It was that that carried me through the next few dark years while Naomi was in and out of the local psychiatric unit, regularly attempting suicide and self-harming. I was baptised in 2002 (Naomi in 2003).
We've moved house a number of times since then and passed through a number of different churches over the years. I'm still a member at the High Kirk in Stevenston (Scott Cameron, the pastor, and I occasionally lead worship together, Scott on his accordion and me on my djembe), but I also regularly attend Townhead Church in Newmilns and IVCC just over the back of the Gilfoot estate where our flat is.
These days my faith is on much more solid foundations than it was when I was 10. I am much more conscious of the importance of regular fellowship with other Christians, and the need to seek a closer walk with Jesus by studying the Scriptures and daily conversations in prayer. Attending church on a Sunday (or other days) is a reflection of my faith rather than the main component of it and which
Church I attend is the least important thing of all. God isn't remotely interested in denominations.