As an only child I lived through WWII and saw much of what was going on in the air over Southern England as the Germans attacked London. Growing up after the war there was no TV; no computers; food was rationed; and we had to make our own amusements!
Neither of my parents who left school at 13 and 14, ever owned a Bible and only ever went to church for weddings and funerals. I was ‘forced’ to go to a Baptist Sunday School from the age of 9 with an acquantance of my father, because my parents wanted me to be better educated than they were.
I have no recollection of ever doubting the existence of ‘God’ but just before I was 14 I realised that what I was being taught about the trinity just did not make sense – and that was when I walked away for the first time. With hindsight those doubts about the trinity combined with a lack of formal theological training (that seems to make it so much easier to unlearn things you have been taught) have had a very significant impact on my ongoing spiritual journey.
My next real encounter with Christianity was when I was 23. I had moved to London and offered to help run a Cub Pack attached to an Anglican Church and that is where I met and married my wife in 1960 and then moved away from London. Less than three years later I was treasurer of the local church. A couple of years later I was also persuaded to become secretary of a new Community Association. I gradually became ‘disillusioned’ with what I saw as the lack of ‘radical’ Christianity, and an inability to get answers to some of my questions (including an explanation of the trinity), and finally ‘walked away’ in the early 1970’s.
With hindsight I can see that there was also a very different life as a computer programmer / business analyst starting in 1967 (when I was already over 30), working on a mainframe computer with 4K of memory, after previously being chief clerk of a branch office of an insurance company. I subsequently managed a team of young programmers marketing a new desk top computer with 1K of memory linked to a prototype word processor using paper tape input and output. Later I was part of a support team for a major international insurance company before being made redundant in 1990. It was then that I bought my first PC with 2K of memory and an 80Mb hard drive. This was when I started making my own notes of what I then believed – strongly influenced by the theology and history that I was familiar with.
It is said that there is a book in each of us. Instead of writing a book I have spent some 16 years developing a blog that is a reflection of some of the on-going questions I have been asking over the years. Unlike a book that has to have a ‘cut-off’ before it can be published, I have been able to change what I have written as I have shared with others on a similar journey. It wasn’t easy drawing a line in the sand and saying, “this has been my story” because some of the changes have been enormous.
“My Story – from 1995 to 2012” covers that period of my life in some detail.