Sermon Illustrations


At the age of 14 Phil Sheldrake was invited by a school friend to attend an event called Festival ’89. The event was being held on Sun Corner in Billericay and hosted by the preacher J. John. That night, Phil came to find a personal faith in Jesus.

With his best friend, Phil attended Pathfinders and other Youth groups here at Christ Church. A member of the staff team here a man called Ron Bradford was instrumental in Phil’s growing faith, and Phil himself takes up the story: "I won’t say I was the finished article at this point. Who is? The pressures of adolescence kept me on the fringe of church from 16 to 18; yet I still attended youth club and the occasional Sunday service. What I will say though, is that the patience and love shown through the members of Christ Church was priceless. I didn’t have a family who loved and spoke to me about Jesus; but here in Billericay there were people who did. At university I got hooked into a loving Church that gave me opportunities to explore leadership, develop skills and talents, make mistakes, celebrate success and be discipled."

"After college, I went out into the world and worked in various places in my early 20s...later studying Theology, Music and Worship at the London School of Theology. I then went on to become Music Director of a church in Central London, and then worked for three years alongside the songwriter and worship leader, Graham Kendrick ...

"I look back at my early teens and thank God that there actually were a set of people bothered to take an interest in my life. In their own small way, they set me on my big adventure in Christ. Don’t underestimate what might sometimes feel insignificant input into the lives of your teenagers--both compliant or unruly! I was an unruly one, and look what you did for me."

Those words were published on our website and in Spotlight in January 2008. They’re still there. Phil is married to Abigail and they have 2 children, Elijah and Keziah. They are now coming to the end of their time in Bristol, with Phil’s Ordination training finishing in early June, after which Phil will become Curate at St Faith's, Maidstone.

Watering, waiting, praying, persevering is worthwhile!

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