How did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian family and went to church every Sunday, and as a kid used to pride myself on being able to find obscure Bible books faster than anyone else in my Sunday school class.
But when I was about 12 I started asking two big questions about the faith I’d been taught: Is it really true? And does it really matter?
After some months wrestling with those questions, I decided the answer to both was a massive yes. As I read the Bible and talked with older Christians, I became convinced of these things: that God was my creator, and that my sin stopped me relating to him – more than that, I deserved punishment for it. But Jesus died on the cross in my place, taking the punishment I deserved, and rose from the dead in history to prove that the cross worked and pave the way to eternal life with him in heaven.
I guess what happened then was that God moved me from knowing the gospel to believing the gospel – and he’s been helping me try to live the gospel ever since.
How did you come to Christ Church Central?
If Christianity is really true and really matters, people really need to hear about it.
When Christ Church Central was started, I was just coming to the end of a year’s apprenticeship at Christ Church Fulwood – and the idea of being part of an exciting new church plant in the city centre seemed too good to miss out on. So I joined the initial church planting team, and after a few years growing and serving as a member, I was encouraged to get further training with a view to working full-time for the church.
My wife Layne and I spent three years at Oak Hill College in North London, then returned to Sheffield (with the addition of Lucas to our family) in the summer of 2012.
Besides Jesus, what are you passionate about?
I love music, books and films – so it’s great that I get to think about those things as part of my job! I also really enjoy travelling and spending time with friends and family.
Layne and I have played a lot of ultimate frisbee in our time, which has taken us to various parts of the world in pursuit of (elusive) sporting glory.
And I love being a dad. Apart from the early mornings…