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At about the age of 27, I had become interested in really trying to find out what the Bible had to say for itself but I was very suspicious of the claims of various churches. I therefore determined, as far as I could, to try to separate the people from the message. I went to many different churches in trying to discover what the Bible was really saying. But with most, it appeared to be more about them than the message in its purity. Then I remember one evening looking in the local paper at the church notices, as I regularly did, and found an advert for a "Bible Exhibition" that had been arranged by the Christadelphians. I'd never heard of them but as it was an exhibition about the Bible I was interested and went along. Although the exhibition captured my interest initially, it was only a vehicle to bring me into contact with Christadelphians who impressed me because they promoted the Bible and not themselves and were only too willing to help me with real Bible study. Looking back, I am so so grateful for this help. I realize now of course that in God's great scheme of things it is He who calls us.

I started school at five years old at Springfield Primary School in Sale. My teacher was Mrs June Proudlock who was a Christadelphian. When I turned seven years old she told me about the 7-11 junior club and asked if I would like to go along, which I did. I then carried on going through Senior Club as well. I was baptized on November 13th 1973.

I have been very grateful to Sis June Proudlock. I have thought many times that if she hadn’t taken me along to the youth club, where would I be now?

When I was young I went to a local, non-Christadelphian, Sunday School where I learned Bible stories, and in the end was given a copy of the Bible. As a teenager I refused to go to this any more, but I kept my Bible. At the age of 16 I was invited to a discussion group by the local churches. It soon became apparent that, while they were dedicated and well-meaning, their ideas came from what they thought would be a good idea rather than what they could show was true. I therefore decided to read the Bible to find out what real Christianity was about.

I was surprised to discover that much of what I had heard of Christianity had no support in the Bible, but that the teaching of the Bible was quite clear. I therefore decided to look for a group whose teachings agreed with the Bible. After visiting many churches, and staying for some time with one in particular, I had a discussion with someone who I had known for several years. This was a young lady who had been brought up in a Christadelphian Sunday School and was recently baptised. I went to the Sunday Lectures and discovered that the teaching of the Christadelphians was what I had already discovered in the Bible.

I was baptised about a year later.

When my daughter was 2 years old I moved from Wigan into a flat in Sale. One of the other tenants had two children, the elder the same age as mine; they all got on really well and played in the grounds. One of the tenants walked to the shops with me one day and there was a Bible exhibition on at the town hall, I suggested we had a wander round which we did but she went round so fast I didn't see anything, so promised myself I would return the next day, which I did, only to find it had gone! Chris the other tenant had just stopped attending the Jehovah’s Witnesses as she said she was unhappy about some of their doctrines. I had been brought up Church of England but had no Bible knowledge other then the verse; 'Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Acts and Romans follow on' I didn't know what it meant and didn't own a Bible. Chris did try to talk to me but I wouldn't talk to her, as I didn't understand what she was talking about and wasn't interested.One day Chris came rushing to me all excited with a tatty old book in her hand, she had bought it at a charity shop and it was called "Christendom astray". She kept saying, "I've found it, these people have the truth" I thought the name on it seemed familiar, Christadelphian. But couldn't think why it should seem familiar. I had a job cleaning two flats on Brooklands Road and used to take my Daughter with me on a seat on the back of my push bike. When I next went I cycled right past the Christadelphian meeting room on Marsland Road. I couldn't believe it, what luck. I was able to jot down the times of all the meetings from the notice board and gave it to Chris feeling well pleased with myself. I thought that would be the end of it but Chris wanted me to go with her to the Tuesday night Bible class. I resisted for some weeks as Chris was always reading her Bible and knew it from start to finish whereas I knew absolutely nothing and didn't want to. Eventually after much badgering I said I would go, it was a disaster! Far too late for the children who fell asleep under the chairs! And honestly, the man might as well have been speaking in Arabic for all I could understand, I was bored to death. After, Chris got into deep conversation with lots of the people and I couldn't wait to get home. I went with her a couple of times then dug my heels in and said I wouldn't go as it was too late for the children and very boring for me, so, she persuaded me to go on a Sunday night, she said she didn't want to go on her own, which I could understand. I didn't listen but spent the time planning the week ahead until one day something the speaker said clicked into my mind and I remember thinking "that is so simple and sensible" so I started listening, I bought a Bible and read it from cover to cover over the period of a couple of weeks. I didn't understand what I was reading but felt a little more familiar with it, I liked the majestic, reverent language of it.

After some time had gone by and I was asking lots of questions I asked if I could have special tuition and a Brother and Sister came to my home once a week to teach me. I can remember feeling very frustrated because I wanted so badly to understand what I was reading but of course it takes time, like a jigsaw puzzle it started to become clearer. The simplicity of Gods message. It was very exciting and I talked to any and every one, my friends dreaded me coming, I think, as that was all I talked about. I decided that I wanted to be in the fold not on the outside, I wanted the chance of life in Gods kingdom and I asked to be baptised. When I told Chris she said that I wouldn't be able to go for a pub lunch on a Sunday, as I would be at Church. I said that was fine, it was little enough to give to God after all he was giving me. I had an interview and was baptised. That in its self was a major thing for me as I was very afraid of water and had never put my head under it. Another couple that lived in the flats very kindly took me to Sale leisure centre and with their help I put my head under the water but it was still very frightening on the day. When I came up out of the water I really felt as if I could have climbed Mount Everest backwards, it must have been the sort of feeling you would get if you won all the major competitions all at once. I was so happy.

Chris had a bad bout of flu and was having bad dreams, she said she wanted to burn her Bible, I asked her to tuck it away in her bookshelf and leave it. She never accepted the truth but she unwittingly brought me in and I will be grateful to her for that. God does indeed work in mysteries ways. God be praised.

As a child I was afraid of all sorts of things. I wanted to feel safe and secure and I asked a lot of questions about life and God. My church minister told me it was a ‘mystery’ I felt confused and frightened about Heaven and Hell and it never seemed to make much sense. Then when I was 18, in circumstances that would never normally have happened, I met my future husband. I went to the meeting with him and I felt that all the lights had come on; all the questions I had asked were answered. It was a revelation, so simple and straightforward. What a huge relief it was to have found the answers to all my questions from the Bible, which was not a ‘mystery’ and quelled all my fears. The more I went the more I felt that I wanted to be a part of Gods promises, so I asked for tuition and when I was 20 I was Baptised. All those years I had searched for answers, I knew there had to be more than just a ‘mystery’ I am so grateful that God is in control of my life and of the universe.

Why I Believe… Tony Arthur John Hillary Lesley “ ”

There are almost as many reasons why people believe in God and the Bible as there are the number of people who believe. All the Christadelphians in Sale come from different backgrounds and have different personal circumstances, but we are all united by our shared beliefs.

Here, some of our members explain how they came to discover the Bible message and why they believe it is true.