1, What is your name and what do you do?
Dawn Bennett, Special Needs Teaching Assistant
2, How did your personal experience of God begin?
I went to Sunday School as a child and I have always believed in God and that Jesus was the Son of God. However, I suppose you could say that my connection to God had been rather remote and consisted of vague recollections of stories from the bible, infrequent prayers and little else. My philosophy, like many others, was that being kind and charitable to others and being a ‘good’ person was what was important. It was only when I experienced a personal crisis that I truly turned to God for help and learned to put my trust in him.
3, What does the term 'being a Christian' mean to you?
For me, besides believing that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for our sins, it is also putting my trust in God and accepting that whatever happens in my life, good or bad, there is a purpose. It is about following Jesus’ example of love, kindness and, perhaps most difficult of all, forgiveness but also recognising that I have weaknesses and to ask for God’s guidance in overcoming these.
4, What now is your everyday experience of contemporary Christian life?
I think leading a Christian life today can be difficult and is not without its challenges. Many attitudes today seem to be selfish rather than selfless and that this is seen as an acceptable way of life which is difficult to contemplate. My experience of contemporary Christian life is that no matter how difficult life is, God is always with me to give me courage and hope. I have seen how my Christian friends have been able to cope with illness and personal tragedies and achieve an inner peace through their Christian faith and it has inspired me to put my trust in God also and to seek his guidance in times of trouble but also to be thankful for what we have.
5, Why is West Street Church special for you?
My experience of Churches had always been rather daunting – very formal with sermons that I found difficult to understand. It was, therefore, with some trepidation that I visited West Street Baptist Church, mainly to support my daughter. My daughter and I were immediately made to feel very welcome. For the first time, I can relate to what is being said and I can understand it. There is a genuine desire and enthusiasm to share God’s word – I don’t feel I am being preached to rather that I am privileged to be part of this wonderful Church family and that we are learning together, I like it that we focus on different sections of the bible and see them through to the end and that each part is explained so well I know that I am still very much at the start of my Christian journey but I know that I will always have the support and encouragement of my friends at the Church and that is what makes it so special.