We have been blessed with so many stories of faith from the people of Marsden and Slaithwaite. Last week, Stuart talked of his life-long faith and service. This week we hear from Doreen. Her life has been, like many, filled with the busy activities of work and family. However, when she came to Church she instantly “felt at home”.
The Bible is a collection of books covering a range of literary styles, some of which are the stories the people of Israel told of their history and life as God’s chosen people. These stories were repeated to help new generations learn of their heritage and relationship with the living God. The stories Christians tell of their faith, their hope in Jesus and the new relationship we have with the living God may be a source of hope and inspiration to others… and therefore we share.
Faith: I guess I’ve always had it, though during my life it was, for a long time, pushed out of my mind as I battled with living. Where I grew up in the North East, we had a beautiful Victorian Church, St Andrew’s, (Roker near Sunderland) just around the corner, and from being a small child I went to Sunday School, was confirmed, joined the guides and the youth club which in my day was called the YCLF (Young Christians League of Fellowship). It was a big part of my life, the highlight being a dance every Friday evening in the church hall, which had a wonderful sprung floor for dancing and was very popular.
I was an only child, my Mum worked, and my Stepfather was a gardener (my own Father had been killed when I was 4). I passed my 11 plus and went to the local Grammar School but had to leave school after my O Levels, to start work.
After that, Church became a memory, I had met my husband at 16 and I was married at 20. My two girls came along at 22 and 24. We all worked in those days and relied on Mum to fill the gap from after school till I got home from work. My husband worked as a Film Director for the BBC’s Nationwide, so he was forever away making films for the show. Eventually there was just me and the girls, so between work and my girls, life was very full.
They grew up and one after the other moved South for jobs in Manchester. I got a job in Burnley to be close to them and when I retired in 2002 Mum and I moved to Oldham. My youngest daughter had moved to Marsden so after Mum passed, I moved here as well. It coincided with the opening of the First World War exhibition in St Bartholomew’s. My cousin was visiting so we went to have a look and the minute I walked into the church I felt at home, it reminded me so much of the church of my youth, and just how much it had meant to me.
Val France was on duty that day and was so welcoming, she joined us for tea which was on offer and before I knew it, I was back where I was meant to be, In God’s care.
So, 6 years on I’m still there side by side with Val, praying and happily working towards things getting back to some kind of normality.