John and Margaret Last
Having discovered the wonder of Christian life from an early age, we have both enjoyed church in various forms over the whole of our married life.
We came to Maybridge in 2009, having spent 32 years in our previous church. During that time our three children were born and raised and they matured into adulthood, each with their own individual responses to faith. We felt like God was telling us it was time to move on, so we came to Maybridge with gratitude for so much experienced over those years.
We’d been very impressed by Andy Hickford’s sermons we’d heard online, and when we began to come along on Sundays we found they were being applied during the week! We felt warmly welcomed without immediate demands being put upon us, and the church ethos and the leaders helped us in the personal restoration we needed at the time.
We were encouraged to find our gifts and to volunteer in a way that suited us – it’s been delightful to see so many people actually serving as “round pegs in round holes”. We also loved how Maybridge’s version of membership – known as Partnership – was so deliberately intentional (for example, we are asked to review if we want to stay on as “Partners” each year)
A lot of us meet in small Partnership Groups, which are both challenging and rewarding; helping to draw us closer to God and to one-another. Serving with others – whether in providing refreshments, welcoming, working with children, organising communion, or helping to run Alpha Courses – has given us many opportunities to express our thanks to God for all He has given us, and trained us to further depend on him and reach out to others.
We periodically welcome to our home groups of those interested in possibly joining us at Maybridge: we run a five-week Connect course for them because we believe that “It takes a Church to raise a Christian”, and that it’s important to understand the Purpose, Vision and Values of a church before committing to it.
The two of us aren’t young(!) but we are finding that MCC continues to inspire and teach us more in our “walk with God” through the love, challenge and encouragement that make up the church. We are thankful for so many who have influenced us so far — both the outstanding leaders and those without official “titles”.
We miss the love and direction given by Andy Hickford now that he has moved on after leading the church for nearly twenty-three years; but his legacy remains and our present leaders continue to inspire us and constantly point us to Jesus. Things are moving on and we look forward to finding the new Senior Minister and the direction God has planned for us.