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?
And 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 ‘preach’ 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 to us at Ousedale, and as I love singing and these girls were like a beacon of light in amongst the normal pop music I was listening to at home on the radio. I was then invited as the girls from 1st NP Girls Brigade and Newport Pagnell Baptist Church into 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 taking place and bonding as a team doing the netball.
Impact on your faith journey and Identifying with other Christians
Having the MKBT assemblies coming into my secondary school kept me going in my faith journey and growing it 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 too from my Christian family upbringing and also 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, age 12 at Ousedale and age 10 currently at Green Park primary school. It is great to hear how the Mouse team go in and help with primary school and how Geoff goes in regularly into assemblies at Green Park to bring 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/backgrounds so this is literally the only exposure they get of the Christian faith for many.
My daughter age 10 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 receiving an assembly make you want to support us all these years later?
By having these assemblies back in the 1990’s during my secondary school years, have 30 years on still massively impacted on my life and faith journey. As I sit here age 39, I feel mightily blessed my MKBT help through the tough teenage years in my faith wobbles and also bringing other Christians around me with my peers and assemblies usually help identify those who are also faith based or keen to engage with it. 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 NP, so that all children in year 5/6 have had 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 if I have one!