I speak as Phoebe Sen, Guider at St Chrysostom’s, and my daughter Sheila, Sheila Biddle, who worships here has written these words:
I did not attend worship at St Chrysostom’s, although my children were baptised and I took them to Sunday School and supported church events.
My personal faith was shaken at the age of 17 when a church minister took his own life. I couldn’t embrace faith. Despite this, I retained a deep sense of service to the community.
Guiding was an important influence in my school years and I wanted to share its many joys, and so I supported the church by starting the Guide Company at St Chrysostom’s. There was little for young people to do in the area at that time other than play in the streets. TV was just arriving, and for many times were hard. I shared my interests in her role as Guide Captain.
I grew up in a time of great hope for World Peace, and attended meetings of the League of Nations at schools and I learned Esperanto, only to spend my twenties in a world at war. How cruelly hopes and often faith were often shattered. I think this had an effect on my beliefs; sometimes spirituality develops outside formal religion and still leads to a life lived with and for others.
We have produced a book giving the stories of over 50 different people connected in some way with the church. Copies, £4.50, are available from Church. (For more details, including a list of those included please click here).