Baptism - December 2008

Stuart Barrington's Story...

Ever since I can remember I’ve been going to church. My first memories of a Christian environment were in Rushmere Christian Fellowship, where my family moved to when I was 5, around the same time as we moved house. I really had no memories of Burlington, although several embarrassing photos prove I was there. I enjoyed church most of the time, but that was just as much due to me having friends there as the teaching that went on.
The first time that I can remember that I properly wanted to know God was during a Spring Harvest weekend when I was around 7 or 8. I remember trying to get to sleep but not being able to because I couldn’t remember the three things I needed to say to God in a prayer to say I wanted to follow him. I could only remember one bit and that was ‘God you’re the boss’. So I was basically saying this in my head over and over to make up for not remembering the rest of them. After this I think I focussed a bit more in church and other visits to spring harvest really helped me up to the age of 11. Going to on other things like CYM Sizewell weekends really helped me as well.
At the age of 13 we made the decision to move back to Burlington. I think this has been a big turning point in my faith as before we moved I had kind of got used to the youth group I was in at RCF, where I had fun and got to see my friends, but I wasn’t really learning anything new about God. I would still have considered myself a Christian and believed in God and everything, I just wasn’t learning much new.
Then we moved back to Burlington and I became more interested in God and church again. I decided to go on the first youth weekend after about 3 weeks at Burlington, which originally I was quite nervous about, but when I got there I had a really good time, and I felt like I fitted in quite well.
Since then I’ve felt really a part of Burlington, and everything’s cool. Since just before this time I started to feel quite close to God, and I began to properly understand about what it means for me that Jesus died for the world’s sins. As I had been brought up in church in some ways it felt like a familiar story, but I did not realise properly what it meant. I could have told you what it meant, as I was kind of a Bible geek, but I didn’t actually feel that it applied personally to me. Now, however, I do understand about it, and about God’s love and mercy to me, even though I’ve done so much stuff against Him. This is why I want to get baptised.
A few months ago, maybe 6, I went on the membership course. Although I was the only person my age there, I found it really useful especially the stuff about the membership and baptism. After that I talked to Claire about it, and kind of decided to get baptised, but didn’t commit to anything. I don’t know why I did this, but after a while I just kind of forgot about it. It was only when there was a bit about baptism in one of the sessions on the youth weekend in September that I started to think about it again. Then in the next week I decided to get baptised after talking about it with my mum. I then texted Claire to tell her, and I told Simon and Ceri about it the next day.  Everyone was really happy. The only thing I regret about it is taking so long to decide to get baptised to show my commitment to Jesus to everyone.