I grew up in Manchester from quite a broken family. I lost a parent through suicide when I was 10 and then my stepmom came in and she was a heroin addict. So, drugs and chaos quickly surrounded me. When I got to my teen years, I got involved with the wrong people, misbehaved in school, taking drugs and started smoking. When I was 16, I became unmanageable and my dad kicked me out, that just spiraled me into hostels and living on the streets.
For about 8 years all I knew was just failed relationships, failed jobs, and my habit was growing bigger and bigger.
When I was about 23, I found myself in Halifax where I had my first experience of the church. I heard the gospel and good news about Jesus, and I decided to follow him.
I got baptised and started to see a change in my life but still, the chaos and brokenness remained.
For the next year or two, I really struggled with my discipleship, I struggled to make anything stick or to undo the damage that had already been done in the past. I went into a Christian rehab for a bit, I thought I was ready but soon fell again. I ended up getting involved in cannabis growing. I was still attending church; They told me that if I want to make a change; I need to show some integrity. they asked me to leave and start again. The Vicar there trained with one of the vicars at St George’s Crypt and through that link got me a place at Faith Lodge which was one of the recovery houses the Crypt used to run, it was a dry house.
I moved in there and they welcomed me, and staff loved and supported me. I was there for eight months and stayed clean the whole time.
I engaged with the church and went into an internship with them. This was a theology position, on-the-job training that provided real exposure to the Christian ministry. During this time, they allowed me to do some bank staff shifts at the Crypt as a way of giving back and to support me financially in my theology position because you need to have personal funds to do the internship and I had nothing. So, the Crypt gave me employment to support me in that. I become part of the Crypt family ever since! I have secured a job with Foundation, a council run service, so I will soon leave the Crypt umbrella, having gained skills and knowledge and love to help me succeed in my future endeavours.
I will always be a supporter of the Crypt.
There are a lot of services that the crypt offers including food and bed but all of that is meaningless without the person behind it giving love, it is really the person giving support more than the support itself.
I’ve been welcomed into this family, both as a client and later as bank staff, it’s been challenging, it’s been great and at times, emotional, but I’ve always felt supported and loved in it.
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