Hi! It’s wonderful that you’re thinking of joining the St Anne’s family! I’m Sarah. I live in Waterfoot, teach at a local high school and I love crafting, tea, lego and vegan cooking. I’ve been coming to St Anne’s since early 2021.
Church was a big part of my childhood- I rang the bells, did the readings, and was a member of the Sunday school for years. Yet, as many people do, I stopped going as a teenager. By the time I went to university, I was a Christian in name only. I don’t think I ever really found a deep connection with God; church was just what we did when I was little.
Years later, again like many people, I was finding lockdown hard. I’d taken to walking in the neighbourhood just to get out of the house. One day, for reasons I still can’t explain, I decided to walk to the church up the hill. As soon as I got there, I knew I would join. I emailed Rod (me!? Emailing a stranger!? Something weird was happening here…) and that Sunday, joined them on zoom. Looking back now, I know God was at work in my life.
If you’ve got rubbish memories of being forced into a stuffy church and shushed as a child, please know that St Anne’s is nothing like that. Sundays are great: there’s a real community atmosphere and a lot of laughter, especially at Messy Church. We’re just as often found out cleaning up the park, going on socials, or meeting on Zoom for bible study, and through the week the church is full with toddler groups and other meet-ups. I love St Anne’s for the fact that we don’t just talk about God there; we really live out his work. As Peter, a St Anne’s regular, will tell you: ‘saying you’re a Christian just because you stand in a church once in a while is like squatting in a greenhouse claiming you’re a tomato’. That might as well be St Anne’s motto! Everyone gets involved and helps each other out. I was made so welcome that by the time we moved back into the building from zoom it felt like coming home, despite never having set foot in the building before, and that feeling’s only grown in the past year.
None of us have got this whole faith thing figured out. That’s ok; God’s too big for us to really get our heads around anyway. But this is a place where you can ask the difficult questions, have the big conversations, and never get judged for it. It feels like we’re all on a journey of faith together, and I know I feel like I get all the love, support, laughter and strength I need along the way from the people here.