My husband Hugo and I moved to Broadbridge Heath in October 1996 – 16 years ago. We had a two year old daughter and I was expecting our second child.
As committed Christians we intended to find a church to belong to and the striking modern building, in the centre of our village, was the obvious place for us to try. We were warmly welcomed by several people and our daughter settled easily into the crèche – we felt no need to look any further.
For us, the church is our family. We have shared every passing season of these 16 years alongside this amazing, varied, colourful, caring community.
We enjoy the sense of sharing our life’s journey – the joys and the struggles, pains and pleasures, triumphs and failures. We all need to take time out of our busy lives to stop and acknowledge that God is at the centre of all we are and all we do. We help and remind each other to be thankful and to celebrate life in all its richness. In January of 2011 Hugo tragically died. Before this I had never experienced the loss of anyone close to me. I now realise that, of course, loss is as common to us all as eating and breathing.
The church family at St John’s have loved and supported Charlotte, Katy and myself in so many ways these past months. I have rarely felt lonely and if I’ve needed to cry or laugh, off-load or just hang out, there has usually been someone there to provide.
Hugo wrote a play called ‘A Pilgrim’s Song’ not long before he died and this is to be presented in St John’s for four nights in November. He was greatly loved, not just by us, but by the whole church family, so this is a wonderful way for us to honour his memory and celebrate his vision.
Pilgrim’s Song: page 29