Hi, my name is Sam Hall and I am age 39 and live in Newport Pagnell. I went to Ousedale School NP campus.
Do you remember receiving an assembly?
Yes! And I often smile at my great memories of Tim Cutting coming into our schools assemblies on a regular basis, and being a cool guy and a happy chappy, wanting to engage with us kids. Tim shone Jesus and his love in the way he interacted and cared for us as school kids. He would ask great questions and make us think about what WE thought and believed, rather than ‘preaching’ AT us.
What did you enjoy / remember?
I was always entertained and challenged at MKBT assemblies and felt like I wasn’t the only one in Ousedale with my Christian beliefs. My favourite memory was when Shine, a girls Christian band, came and performed for us at Ousedale, as I love singing, and these girls were like a beacon of light amongst the normal pop music I was listening to at home on the radio. I was then invited with the girls from 1st NP Girls Brigade and Newport Pagnell Baptist Church to a netball tournament that MKBT organised between church groups at a leisure centre. We loved getting to know other Christian girls from across MK and also we liked bonding as a team playing netball.
What has been the impact on your faith journey?
Having the MKBT assemblies in my secondary school kept me going in my faith journey and kept my faith growing when I was in an environment which would have shunned it. It made me feel ‘normal’ when they came into school and explained to my non-Christian friends and peers at school what I believed in from my Christian family upbringing and regularly attending Newport Pagnell Baptist Church.
You now support us as an adult – why?
I have always had a heart for MKBT because of how it supported me through the tough teenage years in my keeping my faith going and growing and normalising it in a secular secondary school environment. I am also really grateful that MKBT is still going now that I have my own children, one age 12 at Ousedale and the other age 10, currently at Green Park primary school. It is great to hear how the It’s Your Move team go in and help with primary school and how Geoff goes regularly into assemblies at Green Park with exciting ways to bring God’s word alive to kids aged 5-11, a key foundational faith development age. I know that many of the kids are from non-church environments and backgrounds so this is literally the only exposure to the Christian faith for many.
My daughter comes back excited every time she has had an assembly or lesson with MKBT and I am grateful, as this reinforces the beliefs we have and would want for her as her foundation in her life.
What impact did attending assemblies have on you, so that you want to support us all these years later?
Having those assemblies back in the 1990s during my secondary school years, 30 years on has still massively impacted my life and faith journey. As I sit here at 39, I feel mightily blessed MKBT’s help through the tough teenage years, and in my faith wobbles. Seeing Shine in action as a girls Christian band at Ousedale, organised by MKBT, has definitely put a dream in my heart to sing for God and I feel I have now achieved this dream by singing in our church band, which has electric guitars, acoustic guitars, drums, keys, bass, so can be more like a rock band at times, but always praising God.
I also regularly take part in Easter Cracked and Christmas Cracked (usually being the nutty professor!) in our NPBC MKBT outreach events with the 4 local primary schools in Newport Pagnell, so that all children in year 5or 6 have the chance to hear how believing in Jesus and following him can be the best decision you will ever make in your life!
I may have a netball one in the loft from all those years ago but it would take me a while to find it!