Introducing Chris

Hi Chris!

We’re very excited to have you join us at Ebe as part of the New Wine Discipleship Year


What have you been up to in life before now?
I grew up in Filton and went to Shield Road Primary School and then onto St Mary Redcliffe and Temple Secondary School and Sixth Form. I did World Development, Geography and Biology A Level. I’ve just left Keele University where I did a degree in Environmental Science with Geography.

Tell us an unusual fact about yourself...
I have eaten rotten shark (an Icelandic delicacy). 

What’s your faith journey been like? 
I grew up in a Christian family so I had always been part of a Church. My parents encouraged me to explore the Bible, and all of the Christian stories from the testaments, such as Noah or Ruth by doing Bible Studies. When I was about 7, I had been thinking about what Christianity was, and had been listening to some music when I prayed to invite Jesus into my life. Life continued and nothing much had changed until I went to Hill House camp, where my enthusiasm for following Jesus and reading the Bible was ignited. My tip is to start with the Gospel of Mark: It was my first one. 😊 

Throughout my time at School, I attended TGI, TGI Lates and the Ebe youth group with friends. It was here I learnt more about what God had in store for me - Learning what the passages in the Bible meant for me personally. My brother was baptised, sparking thoughts about what baptism meant and whether it was right for me. Around about this time, one of the youth group activities encouraged me to write a personalised letter to God as if He was talking to us and as a result, I made the decision to be baptised since I knew that I had a personal relationship with Him as my Heavenly Father: 
John 1:12-13 - "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."

I’ve regularly volunteer with the North Bristol Foodbank. I have done this since it opened in 2012.

University bought me challenges in terms of my faith, moving from an environment that I knew to an unfamiliar place, to finding a Church, to making new friends and finding a Christian Union. At University, I had the opportunity to find what my faith meant for me personally and pursue it when surrounded by course mates that were not Christians. 

I have seen my faith grow in two key areas of my University life. I had the opportunity to serve as the Vice President of Keele University Late Service Committee and as the Secretary of Keele University Christian Union. Late Service provided me with an opportunity to organise student services as part of a student-led executive team to come up with topics (e.g. Fruits of the Spirit and the Characteristics of God) that we thought would benefit the rest of the student congregation. As part of my Christian Union Secretary role, I gained experience in organising student led events such as “Text-A-Toastie” and “Tea and Toast”, which saw us going out to people on campus and answering their apologetic questions about Christianity, and providing a safe environment for them to approach us. These events gave me the opportunity to further my thinking about apologetic questions in a non-Christian environment, trying to further my own understanding of the answers, trying to meet people where they are in a 1:1 context of personal evangelism or within a group setting. Combined with Bible Studies in our campus Halls, this let me explore the Bible further in regards to developing evangelism. The secretary role provided me with an opportunity to write weekly devotions for the Christian Union members which I attached to the notices, which made me think about key themes of the Bible.

Reading the Bible has been key to growing my faith. I have enjoyed reading the Bible on my own and with several people on a 1 to 1 basis which I termed ‘Bible Buddies’. During this one particular verse stood out:
Isaiah 45:3 -"I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."

I particularly enjoyed leading several Bible studies for a group of friends as part of a series based on “God’s Big Picture” by Vaughn Roberts. Totally check this out if you want an overview from one point of view of what the Bible is all about.

What do you like doing in your spare time? 
I like going for random walks and exploring the environment. I also like walking in hills like the Cotswolds. I also enjoy Bible studies such as “6 steps to loving your Church” which I’ve done in a Church homegroup context whilst at University. I enjoyed learning basic first aid as a member of the St John’s Ambulance Links Society whilst at University. I also like playing Ultimate Frisbee. I also enjoy detective films (especially Poirot) and music.

Why are you doing the NWDY? 
Christianity has always been a key part of my life. I want to grow a deeper understanding of Christianity and develop my relationship with Jesus. I want to work out my calling, and discover and develop my gifts that I have been given. 

Is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to this coming year?
I am looking forward to helping out with the different things that Ebe runs, being part of a Homegroup and The Mullers Practical Theology Course. 

Anything you’re a bit nervous about? 
I am a bit nervous because of the unknown, but I am more than excited to get stuck in and see what the year will hold. 

How can we pray and support you over this next year? 
I would appreciate your prayers that I would serve to the best of my ability and that my relationship with God would deepen. Please pray that I keep Him centre of my life. Please let me know if I can pray for you too.

Keep an eye out for Chris!! He’s going to be starting the NWDY with us in September, and will be getting stuck in to all parts of church life. We’re looking forward to seeing what God has in store for all of us together this year.

Stewart North