Testimonies

Who are we likely to expect at Trinity Grace Church? Well, we have brought together some friendly faces and in this section of the website, there are going to be testimonies and accounts of how the Lord God who created this Earth and everything in it, showed them the error of their ways and through Jesus, they were able to repent and turn to Him.

Every account is different, indeed our Church membership is full of people from all different walks of life.

May God bless you as you read their story.

Benedict’s Testimony

When I was a small boy I would pray every night for my sins to be forgiven, but I did not really mean it. Because of this, I doubted if I was a true Christian. But then you might ask, “why did you pray on your own when no one else could hear or see you?” and my answer to this would be, “I was deceiving myself”. I would do a lot to please my mum and dad, but they were not the only people I was deceiving: I was deceiving myself! I would try and say to myself that I was a Christian, but I knew I wasn’t. I would do lots of the things that were easy for me to do (the outward things), but when it came to the hard things (the inward things), I would fail. That is why I was constantly sent up to my dad to be set right again, but it never took a permanent effect on me. I used to get very angry and frustrated not only at my brothers but also at my Dad, without any good reason.

After listening to thousands of sermons and messages, one night I thought about what would happen to me when I was going to die. I often used to have bad thoughts about hell and if I was going there, and this night I had the same thought, and also worried about other family members. I thought about all the sins I had committed and I also felt very guilty. It was a feeling that I did not like, and I hoped that it would just go away. Then for the first time, I really wanted to stop sinning and I got down on my knees and prayed for forgiveness. I knew this was true repentance. It was April 21st 2008 and I was 9 years old.

After that I felt happier and set free, and it seemed like I had just destroyed all the sins I had ever committed before. It was the first time I had any intention of trying not to sin again, and although I knew this would be impossible, it is what I really wanted.

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Charles’ Testimony

In writing my testimony I realise that I am confirming what others have said; I am following in the steps of people like the apostles Paul and Peter whose testimonies we have in Acts. Here is mine.

As I cast my mind back over the years, the first time I came across the Gospel was down in Summerseat when I remember I went to Sunday school and learned the basic truths of the Gospel. I was fourteen then, but it was when I was actually experiencing life that I saw that things were not how they should be. Nobody was preaching at me, but nevertheless I came to see between the years 14 and 17 that I was a sinner, a miserable sinner, so much so that I wanted to take my life. Yet I turned my back on church life, and I actually mocked the Gospel.

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Colin’s Testimony

I started work at 15 years of age as an apprentice TV Engineer in Rochdale. At the age of 21 I went into the Army to do National Service for two years. On coming out of the Army in 1963 I found that my job had been filled and so I looked in the Rochdale Observer to see what was going. A TV Engineers post in Bury was being advertised at a firm called Radio Rentals which I applied for and got.

One day my firm sent me to install a radio for Mrs.Russ in Summerseat village. Radio sets in those days were big and bulky and used valves. Before leaving the house Mrs. Russ asked me to check the set on the short wave and being curious to know why, I asked her what she listened to on that little used wave band? She told me that both she and her husband tuned in on a Sunday morning to hear Billy Graham speaking on the ‘Hour of Decision’ gospel programme.

I said to her “You don’t come across many religious people these days” to which she replied “Well, it all depends on what you mean by religious” and went on to explain that all people are sinners and if they die in that state they will face the judgement of God and be lost forever. I said that I wasn’t such a bad person and wouldn’t do anyone harm. Mrs Russ then showed me from the Bible that:

“There is no difference for ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

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Gary’s Testimony

Hello, my name is Gary Hilton and I would like to share my testimony with you… to tell you how Jesus came into my life and changed me, making me into a new person in Christ.

At 18 months old I was adopted and had a happy childhood. As a child, my greatest hope and ambition was to become a professional footballer. This is what I lived for, and what I wanted more than anything else in the world.

When I was about eleven I made friends with someone who was going to point me to the Cross. At this time my friend was not a Christian but his parents were, and it was through my contact with them that the turning point came in my life. I could see that his parents were different to anyone I’d met before. They had something that was real in their lives; they were honest, truthful and willing to help anyone.

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Ian’s Testimony

Family

I am one of five children me being the second youngest in the family of four sons and one Daughter I was born 24th April 1981 to Neil and Carole Hutchinson. I am married and was just 15 when me and my wife Lindsey met, it was at school. I have to say she is such a wonderful wife and mother, we got married in 2008 and went on to have our first child Isaac in 2011 and then Ethan 2014, God and my family are everything to me.

Growing up

I can’t say that I grew up in a Christian family, and that I was surrounded by Godly people and the church from the very beginning. But I was raised with a knowledge of who Jesus our Lord is, this is because throughout my childhood I was always made aware of the man of Jesus, I would read a book, my Dad had got for me called the book of bible stories which it had in it most of the stories from the bible. I was not that old when my Dad told me about God probably 3 or 4 yrs old, I thank my Mum and dad for all they have done for me throughout my life. I loved it at Easter time in our house watching the films about Jesus. It’s such a shame these days that no one talks about the real meaning of Easter, it’s as though society has turned its back on Christianity! But not all, because people still are being converted to this very day look at Christine and me we are a work in progress with a passion for the living God!!

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Jean’s Testimony

I was born in Bacup in 1932 and my mother, being a staunch Methodist, taught me to pray from a very early age before getting into bed each evening so as a child I never had any doubts as to the existence of God. She also sent me to Sunday school each week and I really liked it. There was no mention of the importance of having one’s sins forgiven, however, although I learned a lot of Scripture for which I am now very thankful. I did, become, however, very interested in Jesus when I was 7 or 8 years old and at one stage really would have loved to have been with the children in Jerusalem at his triumphal entry there but sadly, none of the teachers were very interested in the wishes of individual children, so although I tried, I didn’t get much encouragement and soon gave up trying,

When I moved up into another class the teacher there began to read to us the life story of Wilfrid Thomasson Grenfell who was a Doctor and keen to get the Christian message to the inhabitants of Labrador, which is the most northerly point of the American continent. He encountered great opposition though from his friends and authorities alike but in spite of this he gave up everything in this country and went. It was like a serial story to me and to this day believe it was through this man’s influence that I kept on going to Church even through the difficult teenage years. The teacher read a chapter each week and I eagerly awaited the next installment. I don’t know what happened to him in the end but I believe there is now a Grenfell Society in Nova Scotia. What he did for me was to keep me going to Church during my formative years and that was to prove crucial in my life.

I was about 12 years old when I first heard about Wilfred Grenfell and about this time I again became very interested in Jesus and His agonizing death at Calvary to save me from the weight of my sin so I finally decided I wanted to be one of His followers and told Him so as best I knew how at that time, and decided to keep on going to Church on Sunday evenings. I had got so used to going each Sunday afternoon that I wanted to be there in the evening also and realize now that it was the Holy Spirit calling.

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Jeremy’s Testimony

When I was ten it first struck me how important God is; the penny dropped, and I realized what God really was! Before I thought of him as a great intelligence, a bit like the all-seeing eye in ‘Lord of the Rings’ – not able to see everything at once, but it could be distracted as when Aragorn’s army distracted it away from Frodo and Sam. I realised that God isn’t like that, but is able to see everything at once.

After that, I carried on as before, but really knowing I was sinful and needing a Saviour. I remember finding the services at church boring, and spending the time adding up the hymn numbers, or drawing pictures when I was supposed to be taking notes. At home I was unkind to my brothers: I would shout at them and really hurt them, and not care but just “say sorry” without meaning it.

When my Granny died I realised that I could also die any day, and nothing could stop that. At the funeral service and the Bible Study on bereavement soon afterwards, I was struck by what Dad said about Granny being a sinner, but she was forgiven because she repented of her sins and died in faith. This brought me to face my fear and convicted me of the truth. When I felt true conviction about my sins, I knew I really had to do something about them – I had to put my sins onto Jesus and leave them behind.

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Jim’s Testimony

Do you remember your geometry lessons when you first used a drafting compass? You place the spike in the paper and with the pencil drew a perfect circle! So you now have a centre mark and a circumference. If we apply this example to God and ourselves, then God occupies the centre and we are outside the circumference.

In my lifetime of nearly 80 years, many have been the times in many contexts that people have used non-godly means to seek to understand Him. This is not possible as Paul teaches in I Corinthians 2:14:

The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

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Ken’s Testimony

Hello everyone. Today is a huge day in my life. A day that means so much to me. In just a moment I am going to give you a very quick summary of how I got to this point, and even though it is my own personal story, none of it is really about me. My being Baptised is an act of obedience, and all the glory of my testimony belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice He made for us all.

I have lived a troubled life, and have often been overwhelmed, lost, in its trials and tribulations. I thought for many years that I knew all I needed to know about the cruelty of this world, our place in it, and I was very set in my beliefs that we were alone in this universe, and this was our lot. I could not have been further from the truth.

Around 18 months or so ago I had my second Heart attack. And after my treatment I was offered the chance to see an occupational therapist as part of my Cardiac aftercare. Its main focus being how to cope with my condition, as my symptoms due to my spinal damage are hard to distinguish from Angina, To get me the help I needed at Home, and to learn to relax and reduce my stress levels. For this last task, my therapist taught me mindfulness techniques. And while it was nice every week to sit down and meditate for half an hour, it took many weeks for what she was teaching me to make sense. But over time, I learned how to put my anxieties into perspective in the real world, and learned how to cope with many worries that arise from having a time bomb in your chest. Something else happened too however. I developed a hunger to understand more, to find myself spiritually, internally too I felt some shifts. I became more emotionally sensitive. I began to develop compassion for other living beings. I began to develop empathy. This was overwhelming at times. I could not understand what was happening inside me. I knew it was not a breakdown, I had been through that before, this was something different, and powerful.

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Lilian’s Testimony

I have been told, but I was not aware of it myself at the time, that when I was one month old I was taken on a Whit walk with my Mother. At this time my Mother was a member of the Primitive Methodists.

Growing up as a youngster I was, with help from my mother, always aware of God and the Christian faith. I attended Sunday school, first within the Primitive Methodist Church at Summerseat near Bury, and then I went to St. Wilfred’s Church of England Sunday school, simply because all my friends did.

When I was 11 I stopped going to church: no big fall out, just sort of stopped going. This would have continued I guess forever, except when I was 16 I read a wayside pulpit, which said:

“A Sabbath well spent, is a week of content”

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Les’s Testimony

A spiritual awakening

In July 1962 I went on holiday again to Douglas in the Isle of Man. I had just won a lot of money on the roulette wheel in Bolton and because of my change in fortune decided to join some younger lads to this old haunt. On the second day of my holiday I decided to try to follow this winning streak on the roulette wheel in the local casino in Douglas. I lost all the money I had gained in Bolton and spent the rest of the week borrowing off my friends. Later in the week we gathered in a hotel in Douglas for our usual drinking session. As I sat there I began to feel an intense hate for the hotel and all it stood for. The hotel lounge was heaving with people and in a moment of madness picked up pint glass and threw it through one of the hotel windows. The pub began to empty quickly until the manager shouted for all to stay were they where until the police arrived. I did not care and when the police did arrive and question the scores of people in the lounge I still did not care what happened to me. When the police came to our table my four young friends protested their innocence and after about an hour we were allowed to leave. This brief account of my life sums up the kind of aimless life I was leading and the kind of person I had become.

On my return home things continued as before; daily work, the local pub, the local dance hall on a Saturday, Casino on a Sunday, borrowing and paying back and generally squandering all the money I earned. In the meantime in the dye works where I worked I began to hear and notice one of the works mechanics who was going round claiming to have ‘seen the Light.’

On a memorable day some time in 1963 whilst working at the Dye works I left the stenter to go outside for a break and a smoke. The man who had seen the ‘light,’ Ernie Westwell, was halfway up a factory chimney doing some maintenance work. It was a lovely sunny day and in jest I shouted up to Ernie that it was about time ‘He’ sent us some of this sunshine, Ernie was down the ladder in double quick time to share ‘his life transforming experience.’ I cannot remember what he said to me on that day, but this encounter was the first of many over the next two or so years.

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Linda B’s Testimony

I grew up in a large family fully committed to attending a Church of England in Little Hulton, where we attended twice each Sunday and also Sunday school in the afternoon. We were all in the church choir.

When I left school I went into nursing and it was there that I met with a Christian nurse who invited me to her church to hear the gospel. I started to attend the church and it was then that I realised that being a Christian was having a personal relationship with Christ, of knowing him as your Lord and Saviour. I came to know Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord. To know the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit as being the ultimate being that deserves all our praise and worship.

Throughout nursing I attended the Nurses Christian Fellowship where I met other Christians and together we sought to witness for Christ.
On becoming a Christian I didn’t feel settled in the Church of England at home, and became involved with a local mission church where I served the Lord for many years. I was once asked why I did not return to my home church where I was brought up. I replied that I did not feel happy reciting words from a book, when I could personally speak to the Lord in Prayer

I cannot say that my life has been easy, with periods of severe depression, but I can honestly say that the Lord has kept me through those experiences and made me stronger for them.

The lord has blessed my life in giving me a husband who is committed to the Lord, and a daughter who is now a Christian and married to a believer whom the Lord graciously saved. Now God has blessed us with a granddaughter whom we dearly love.

Linda H’s Testimony

A Testimony of God’s Grace By Linda Hough

I became a Christian at the age of 29 when God revealed Himself to me in a spiritual way showing me how I stood in His sight.

All my life before becoming a Christian, I had always believed in God, even to the point of fearing Him. I would often think about standing before Him when I died, and it would send shivers down my spine, but I never fully knew why. The problem was that my belief in God the creator, and Jesus His Son who was crucified, and the Holy Spirit had no substance. I had no real knowledge or understanding. My belief was innate within me and I did not understand properly. However, I was always fully aware of His authority over me.

I took going to church very seriously, till I reached my late teens, then I went out into the world, and God became just someone I believed in, not fully understanding why. My life in the world took me down many paths, some good, and some bad. However well my friends thought of me, and however much my family loved me, I never felt totally secure or 100% happy. Sometimes I would pray because even without any knowledge of Him, I just felt I could trust Him, and that nothing was impossible for Him to perform.

Approximately six months before I became a Christian, there was a need in me, which I needed to be fulfilled, but I didn’t know what it was, or where to find it.

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Nicholas’s Testimony

I was brought up from the beginning in a Christian Home; our church which we attended each week was the Salvation Army. Our first Salvation Army, corps (cor), was in Swinton and then we went to one in Farnworth. I willingly went to the Salvation Army, and grew up going to Sunday school, then join the young people’s singing group, and later the brass band, and Songsters. I have to admit that I was not a very good singer, nor did I play a brass instrument very well.

For most of this I was contented, and yet, with all this activity in the Salvation Army, I now realise, that the Bible in all its full glory was not presented. True, the Bible was believed on, and even read, yet brass band, songsters seemed to be the emphasis in the life of the Salvation Army.

When I was about 19 I left the Salvation Army I just drifted away, I started at college in Manchester, and in the holiday break became involved in a religious cult, a very silly thing. I was involved in this religious cult only for a year or two and only on the periphery yet, now looking back I regret ever being involved in it.

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Peter Lowe's Testimony

Today I feel blessed to be baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sins.

It is a truly special day as it is the celebratory day of the Lord Jesus triumphantly entering Jerusalem before His absolute sacrifice to save the sins of all mankind.
For about 50 years I have been wandering through a spiritual wilderness, drifting through the shadows of darkness, but as soon as I walked through the doors of Trinity Grace church a couple of years ago I instantly felt at home and began to see the flickering light of life as Jesus said in John 8:12, and what it means to be a Christian.

There has never been a defining moment of when I was saved but there have been many messages in Oliver’s and Tony’s preachings that have been personal, poignant and at times prophetic in their message to me.

I now realise that I have been hearing the living word of God and with what I know now is the Holy Spirit impacting on me. Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

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Peter’s Testimony

Question: What has alcohol done for me?
Answer: Everything, everything bad.
Question: What has Jesus done for me?
Answer: Everything, everything good.

My story of finding Christ starts at a very low ebb in my life: I was leaving home, that is to say I was leaving my wife Maureen and my two daughters Catherine and Sarah. Why was I leaving home? The true and honest answer is: alcohol. Having worked myself up to a very senior position with a chemical company called BASF I found the pressure too much and started drinking, and in the end the job with BASF became too hard for me and I had to resign.

Life at home with my wife and two daughters became very difficult and although I managed to find a job as a postman, the day-to-day pressures of married life took its toll and I found myself having to leave the family home.

 

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Renee’s Testimony

From my earliest memories I have always believed in God. My family believed in God and as a little girl, living in Elton Bury, I was sent to Wood Street Methodist Church with my sister Jean. We went on the Whit walks and one year I was maid of honour and carried the Queen’s train.

One vivid experience I had as a youngster thinking about God was when I went to a corner shop in Elton, Bury called Hambeys. I had in my hand a penny with the image of Britannia on, and I remember thinking this is not like God, God is much greater than this.

Then as I became a teenager I stopped going to church, but I never stopped believing. I still believed in God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Richard’s Testimony

Hello my name is Richard, I would like to share with you how I became a Christian. Below is my Testimony of Gods Love to me through poetry. I trust the words as you read them will bless your heart.

Working away on a bare factory floor
No real friends had I got no future in store
Nobody liked me, I can’t blame them you see
I was selfish and immature, I cared only for me

I could win fights with words, no problem at all
Finding peoples weak point, that was my goal
I got my kicks from all this, why, I haven’t a clue
I think I wanted to be hated between me and you

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Robert’s Testimony

My name is Robert Kiss. I come from Hungary. I am 46years old. I am married to Natalia and we have two sons, Daniel who is 14 years old and Dominic who is 7. My parents live in Budapest.

I have been in the UK now for 15 years, but I still keep my Hungarian accent. As a young man I represented my country in many fencing world championships, Europeans and two Olympic Games in 1992 and 1996 when I came 4th and 5th. I was seven times Hungarian National Champion in foil.

Before I heard the message about Jesus, I was so tense and impatient. I didn’t know where I was heading in my life. I was constantly looking for my place in the future. Sometimes I was confused and depressed, especially when my family members passed away in a very short period.

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Rob’s Testimony

Born in 1961, I grew up in a typical family situation and enjoyed many of the things most children got to enjoy at that time; great birthdays, great holidays, and great Christmases. My brother Gary and I had loving parents, but sadly Mum and Dad went through increasing turmoil in their marriage. At first much of it was hidden from us as young boys, but throughout our early teenage years, the hurt and anguish that Mum had been going through became increasingly obvious. Ultimately, their marriage couldn’t survive, and sadly ended in divorce some years later. In those days it was not as acceptable to have parents that had separated, and my brother and I certainly felt the shame of not having a family life like others seemed to have. I can distinctly remember many nights of hearing Mum crying in her pillow, trying not to wake us up. I think it is fair to say, Mum did incredibly well to bring up two boys on her own with little money, in a social climate where to be without her husband was looked down upon. Though Gary and I had acutely felt the insecurity of our broken home life, Mum did everything she could to make sure we wanted for nothing, and had the love of a thousand parents. All this certainly shaped our thinking over the years, and I suppose gave us some understanding of the turmoil, hurt and insecurity of those affected by a broken marriage.

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Sarah’s Testimony

‘In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. We love because he first loved us.’ (1 John 4 v.9,10,19)

God has been active throughout my life even before I was born, but when was 12 years old He revealed Himself to me in a very special way. I had no idea how life-changing a seemingly chance meeting would be. One lunchtime at school I was sitting at a table in the canteen just minding my own business when a group of 5th year lads came and sat with me. I was quite shy and embarrassed and just wanted to get up and leave as quickly as possible.

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Suzanne’s Testimony

I have been coming to church since I was very small. When I was younger I really enjoyed going to Sunday school. Now that I am older I like to sit in the service, to listen to the preaching and write some notes: these notes help me to remember what I have heard.

I have lots of friends at church and I like to talk to them after the service. It is my pleasure and delight to befriend new people when they come to church; I try to make them feel very welcome. I think this is one of the gifts God has given me.

Jesus is my friend and I pray to him at church and I pray to him when I am on my own. If things are worrying me I pray to Him. When my uncle Martin was very ill I prayed for him. When my cousin Matthew was ill I prayed for Him a lot.

My praying for others has helped me to understand that God is the one I must trust for everything.

Whenever I thought about being baptised I was too nervous to go ahead. Then I went to baptismal classes and became sure that I wanted to be baptised, even though I was still nervous, I was also excited to witness in this way. To be baptised publically is my way of telling everyone that Jesus is my Saviour and He is the one I trust and love.

Tony’s Testimony

I did not start attending Church until I was about 8 years old. My mother was a Christian, but my Father was not. I always remember in those early days, walking to Church with my mum and brother, but leaving my dad behind, often working in the garden.

During this time I attended the Boy’s Brigade, Sunday school, and services at Yateley Baptist Church in Hampshire. I enjoyed the activities in the Boy’s Brigade, and learnt much about the stories of the Bible and the gospel in the children’s and youth meetings. As I grew into my teenage years I continued to attend the services and young people’s meetings. I knew that I was a sinner. I knew that Jesus was the only Saviour, but I would not respond to the call for me to repent.

Eventually my dad and brother became Christians, were baptised and became members of the church. I though, continued to resist the gospel. This continued until I was 18 years old.

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