Having been brought up in a Brethren assembly, I was well familiar with not subscribing to written creeds, yet from a young age I was fascinated by the life of Jesus, and made a real commitment at the age of 7 to follow him. However, as I grew into my teens, I began to question things that I could not hold true: not being allowed to form friendships with children from other denominations, especially Catholics, and even Presbyterians! I didn’t like being one of a minority group, and soon realised that other denominations were using the same Bible, and indeed many hymns that I was familiar with. I knew then that I could never marry someone from the Brethren, and I started to mix with university friends I met, and fell in love with a Presbyterian! Yes, the other sort, but his parents were OMF missionaries, and had friends who knew my parents, so to my mind, he seemed to meet some of the requirements set by them! Sadly it was too much for my mother, who was of a delicate temperament, and broke down over my wedding. We had 3 children, and moved to Holywood where Chris’s family had lived, and Chris became accepted into my family. But sadly, leukaemia raised its ugly head, and Chris died at the age of 36. We were still Presbyterian, and the Presbyterian church we then attended was very good to us as a family. However, my interests there were: good music, Christian Aid, and a desire to help cross the Catholic/ Protestant divide. But when the excellent choir master left after a rock group took over Sunday worship; Christan Aid seemed to have become less of a priority and I was refused the post of Peace Agent, I moved to another local Presbyterian church with a great choir and organ, and an existing link with a Roman Catholic church in Andersonstown . I was made Peace Agent until the existing group became too elderly to take the trips across town, and the youth leader and session refused my request to be involved with the initiative ‘Preparing Youth for Peace’! About this time I met my second husband Paul, and together we decided to look at other churches. I had by then discovered the details of the Westminster Confession of Faith, and realised that even though a committed Christian, I would never have been able to sign it! Along the way, I had been a Mystery Worshipper, giving online reports of churches I visited, and had been impressed with Holywood Non Subscribing Presbyterian. On making another visit, and investigating its beliefs, we decided it was the place for us! And yes, it was a good move. And soon after joining, I was approached by an American regarding our family tree, and together we discovered family graves at Clough NSP Church. I had returned to my roots! We love Holywood, and having been made an elder there, I knew it was the place for me.
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