My Diary at SNFC

4th September 1968

I live at Dawn Cottage, Mid Street, South Nutfield, Surrey. I was eleven on 17th April 1968. I have 1 sister and 1 brother. My brother is older and my sister younger. I have just started at Albury Manor County Secondary School.

I used to go to Nutfield C of E Primary School for nearly a year. Before living in Surrey I lived in Leicester and went to Whitehall Junior School. I went home one dinner time and never went back to school because we moved.

I can't swim. My best games are tennis and table tennis.

When I grow up I want to become an astronaut or professional tennis player.

I go to Nutfield Evangelical Free Church. Mr Howick is the pastor and Mrs Leadbetter plays the organ.

Sunday 3rd January 1971

Mr Filby sang in the evening service and played guitar. Mrs Filby could not return from Holland. Fog at the airport. Mr Filby said that Mrs Filby is so good at singing that you can put a candle in front of her and it will hardly show her breath.

Wednesday 20th January 1971

Steven Ashby was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was a prefect when I started at Albury Manor and was on the same coach. His brother still comes to Albury Manor.

Go to the first bible study with Rodney. Only Malcolm and me.

Saturday 9th November 1974

In prayer group, we prayed for about an hour and were all getting tired and about to pack up. Bert then said something in a tongue. He said somebody knew the meaning. It was me. This verse kept going through my mind. I was shaking all over but didn't say anything. Then Mrs Hedley said exactly the same verse. It was Isaiah 50 v 31
They that wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings like eagles
They shall run and not be weary
They shall walk and not faint
After that point we rested in God's strength and so gave the meeting a new lease of life.

November 1974

There is the possibility that the Lord may be opening up a Bible Study of young people for me to lead. This follows on from the Christian Communication course we went to at Christ Church.

December 1974

Bible study is to begin on Sunday Afternoon.

April 1975

Wonderful baptism and time of fellowship at Seaford. Went down on Friday evening and went to respective homes. On Saturday morning got the meal ready and went to the baptism spot. The beach looked steep and the weather rough. The story of Jesus calming the water came up twice in the last week so we prayed. In the afternoon we had a great time going down in a convoy of 9 cars. The sea was then going out and there was beautiful sand and sun for the first time in ages. Six of us baptised. Before going under I remembered Roman 6 about dieing to sin in baptism and being risen with Jesus to new life.

Sunday Morning had a fantastic time of worship and praise to Jesus. There was also ministry by Terry in the afternoon. God loves us as we are, We should not try to humble ourselves to nothing. Be ourselves. Not putting on a front. But develop in love with Jesus more and more to his glory.

Started going out with Sue again. Now it is much better because the Lord is at the centre.

The commitment supper was really great on Saturday. We committed ourselves as a church to the Lord, to each other, and to the village. We had a meal followed by a simple communion then we had fun praising the Lord.

June 1975

I have been busy revising for A levels. Not really had time to pray and read bible.

October 1975

Some days I feel I'm going forward with my Christian life but there is now a barrier which I cannot get past and feel I am standing still or drifting away. Feel I've taken back a lot of what I'd given to God of my life.

Had whole church prayer meeting, 15 came,  and it was a good time when I felt we were really talking to the Lord. He told us in prophecy that we are going through what was like sticky toffee. We need to take his hand and he will lead us.

November 1975

Hardly going to church. They keep asking me to change shift and do overtime on Sunday at the Mental Handicap Hospital.

January 1976

I have been reading a number of Psychology books. At work on January 5th I changed from B1 to D3 (lock-up ward).

March 1976

I am not reading the bible at the moment and I haven't got faith to pray. Although I want to be a Christian I don't see any point if it is not real. Interested in John Paul Sartre and reading lots of other books like Battle for the Mind. Still go to church, maybe because of friends there, maybe because I don't want people to see I have lost interest until I am fixed. Maybe because I feel they are right and will help me through this. Also I can't remember a real spiritual high since the baptism.

The Seaford church came again and they had a time of praise and I wasn't part of it. I wanted to find God. At one point Ken put his hand on my shoulder and I felt an electrifying feeling through me. This could have been God. If it was I rejected him and I am sorry. I was anxious in trying not to get carried away when I find it hard to believe in God.

April 1976

For the last couple of months we have been preparing a musical and I feel embarrassed on Sunday Service and Prayer Meetings as I can't join in properly. Yesterday Sue said she didn't want to go out with me. I suppose I had known for quite a while and felt upset.

Today, the 11th, was the real performance of the musical 'This is the place'. Last night during rehearsal I nearly believed some of it, but I felt like I was just acting in the real performance. I'm just drifting along not sure God is real. A lot of the stuff can be explained away and rationalised.

I'd like to feel how I felt in the past at Easter about Jesus and the sadness at death and joy at resurrection. I feel a lot for Jesus but he does not have to be alive for me to feel that.

May 1976

Now for almost a month I have hardly thought about God and haven't attended church.

April 17th 2020

Today is my 63rd birthday. We are in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown.

I am married to J and have 2 grown up children. We live in Abingdon. I worked for many years in Software development, and after redundancy have in the last 6 months got into support work with people with learning difficulties.

I did not go back to South Nutfield Free Church from May 1976 until it closed. I often missed the free church and the people. I never felt part of something quite like that.

I am sorry if I let anybody down. It was a long time before I came back to faith.

My best wishes to anybody who reads this.

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