Church is amazing

I love reading the stories of faith and why people come to Church, and I know it has been a source of encouragement for others who feel less isolated at this time. Even now, many people are still at home and feeling bereft of company – so being able to read each other’s stories is uplifting. Please consider sharing your own.

This week, Tracey Dawson (née Still) tell us about her Church Wedding and how she feels a sense of ‘Wow!’ at St Bartholomew’s Church. Tracey and Des live in Kent, but are looking forward to moving to Marsden as soon as possible. Tracey is our new Treasurer and we are delighted to welcome them both into the community of Marsden.

Tracey writes…

Tracey and Des Dawson

Our story with Marsden begins eight years ago in Turkey.

A lovely couple from ‘The North’ invited us out for a drink whilst we were on holiday in Gumbet. Once home, we kept in touch and decided to go and visit them in their newly acquired pub, The New Inn which was in a village called Marsden.

After our first visit we found ourselves drawn more and more to the friendly village. Visiting Geri and Dave two or three times a year, and getting to know some of the welcoming residents. Discovering some of the wonderful walks and enjoying the lovely, calmer, pace of life. Two years ago, during the Jazz Festival, we were standing by the weir in Peel Street and I said to Des ‘I could live here’. Within weeks we were lucky to be able to buy a little back-to-back cottage in Mount Road: our first step North!

Since meeting 10 years ago myself and Des had often had conversations about marrying but there was always something lacking and not quite right. The following year 2019, during the Jazz festival we decided to explore St Bartholomews – ‘WOW’ we both said – the sense of peace and of belonging which we both experienced when we were walking around the church was amazing, so we spoke to Carolyn, who was looking after the church, about the possibility of marrying there.

Attending the Sunday service every time we get the chance to come to Marsden is a wonderful journey, enlightening, calming, reassuring and welcoming. Following the inauguration of Rev. Graeme Holdsworth, we had the privilege of being the first couple he married at St Bartholomew’s Church on 26th September 2020.

We are looking forward to growing in faith and becoming more a part of the Marsden community as we continue our gradual move north.

Tracey & Des Dawson


  1. I have just been listening to Radio 4’s Daily service via BBC Sounds. Chance encounters were mentioned with the benefits not always being realised until years later. Thanks for sharing your story of moving to Marsden.
    Tracey and Des congratulations on your wedding!
    Welcome to Marsden and I pray your move to ‘Up North’ properly goes as smoothly as possible for you.
    I will pray for you in your faith journey, as you settle into the Marsden community and Tracey as you take on the role of Church Treasurer.
    Best wishes and God Bless
    Ali – St James church

  2. Thank you so much Ali….it really has been an inspiring journey to date and as for chance encounters, they haven’t come more meaningful for us than Geri and Dave. Life changing in fact ! If not currently our home, Marsden is cerainly our spiritual one and one day……. ! Thank you again.

  3. What a wonderfully uplifting story – and wonderful photographs of your wedding. Thank you.
    God has his loving hand on you, drawing you by that invisible thread which pulled me for years before I responded, and which pulls many, but to which not everyone responds.

    In him you were chosen and predestined in love to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ,
    predestined according to His plan and according to His purpose.
    (See Ephesians chapter 1)

    How exciting that you responded, have taken up the baton and are making the move.
    You will be heartily welcomed.
    God bless you in your marriage and your future together.

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