I was brought up as a Roman Catholic in Gateshead. At 16 I joined the Royal Navy and gradually slipped into atheism. On leaving I welded in shipyards including Lowestoft where I began to question life. I dismissed Christianity, but the Buddhist philosophy of rebirth seemed to make sense.
My wife Brenda and I decided to move to the Orkney island of ‘Sanday’ in 1984. On the way there, who should we meet but Derek and Bridget Edwards, missionaries going to Sanday. I thought to myself, ‘nice couple, but narrow minded bigots’. Sometime later I was reading a book on power called ‘The Secret Doctrine’. Somehow I began to have a grave feeling of foreboding. I cried to God, ‘If you exist show me.’ Later I said to Derek I would go to a service at his church. The text was from Isaiah chapter 6 and the title was, ‘The majesty and awesome holiness of God Almighty’. I read the gospel of John at home and realised that Jesus on the cross was the great I AM. I had mocked and despised Him. Shocked as to who He truly was, I prayed: ‘Lord, you gave your Son – I don’t deserve to live, take my life.’ The Lord dealt with me and all I could say was: ‘Father, Father’.
In the providence of God one of my first prayers was: ‘Father make me a fisher of men’ and for over 20 years He has answered –