Why do I go to St Peter's?

Saxon Barrie

For the last ten years, supported by a friend - a devout mentor, my understanding of God’s ways and teachings have grown, my faith developed. But latterly I had sensed the need for community and different opportunities to grow.

God collared me some four years ago. I was taken by surprise. Needing a break, I was keen to try a retreat. Arriving with the aforementioned friend, we met a convalescent vicar. He explained to us that he was told to expect two messengers! We were the only two new residents! Me a messenger? Incredulous I spent a fun weekend, exploring, relaxing, listening and talking. Arriving back in Nottingham we toppled off the train. The journey back had only taken about half an hour, whereas outwards it had taken over an hour! Feeling I had been propelled through the days by who knows what, I tried to digest what had taken place.

This March I was exploring the Web, searching for a church to further my knowledge; develop my faith, and learn how to worship and pray with two or three others. I came across “Claves Regni”, and became attracted by “No-one who comes to me will I ever reject”, used by Rector Andrew Deuchar in one of his first sermons, July 9 2000. Encouraged, hoping I would be comfortable, knowing I would not be turned away, I explored Choral Evensong. Those present were welcoming. Afterwards I felt positive and confident, so I tried the following Sunday Eucharist. I have slowly become used to the liturgy: find great peace using the Book of Common Prayer; I do enjoy the glorious music, and feel amity toward my fellow-travellers as we peacefully ( Ephesians: 4.3 ), navigate the Services.

Retirement was possible in 2004, and reminded that as life is not a dress-rehearsal I decided it would be an act of faith to retire - never mind working myself to a stand-still for the pension - life would be so much richer, and I would have the opportunity to use all those gifts God has been generous enough to bestow upon me which I have sadly neglected. And the way forward was there. He has enhanced my expectations so many times over, producing a greater pension than I was led to expect, and allowing opportunities for me to recapture and enhance skills, e.g., the Verger at St Peter’s asking me to help with some sewing, the life-drawing class, the singing for pleasure, etc. I am making new friends. Life is joyful and positive with God’s help. ( Ephesians: 3.20 ).

Practised at selling myself short I do hope that associating with others on this learning curve, especially at present, (those attending the Confirmation Group, with whom I have had several stimulating evenings as we exchange, challenge, and listen, prompted by Chrissie and Andrew), will teach me to be myself, but a person who will fulfill God’s purpose when He chooses. As for us all, He has a part for me to play, and I pray that I can live the life He has chosen for me. God willing, it is arranged that I be confirmed in November. The Group, my present confidence, this faith and the Confirmation Service is all happening before I go on a trip in the New Year, to Malta.

St Peter’s offers me fellow-pilgrims. I am humbled when meeting the very real human beings within the congregation, and feel privileged to hear their stories. I am welcomed and feel part of a great family. Thanks be to God.

Saxon Barrie

© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 2nd December 2004