Friday 17 November 2023

Abi Denning reflects on her spiritual journey


I have been on my journey to faith for many years, without realising I was on one. I fell in love with Religious Studies and Philosophy at school and pursued this for a career – becoming a Religious Studies teacher in 2016. I have at many times felt drawn to Christianity, enjoying teaching the arguments for the existence of God as part of the A Level course. I have always enjoyed visiting churches, admiring stain glass windows, and visiting museums which hold Christian artefacts or artwork. Until recently I saw this as no more than academic or cultural curiosity.

All Saints has been an essential part of my journey. I love the Crib Service every Christmas, appreciating the light-hearted yet purposeful depiction of the Nativity Story. Simon, and All Saints, I have always found to be very inclusive. I considered myself an agnostic and was honest about this whenever talking to him. Despite this, he would always welcome me warmly at services or other events. My stepmother and I attended a number of the brilliant courses run by Simon at the Vicarage, including Celtic Christianity, the Beatitudes and the Alpha Course. The groups were well attended by a mixed group of people, which was great. I never felt ‘preached at’ or as if it were any attempt at conversion. Just a group of interesting people exploring some of life’s fundamental questions and some central themes in Christianity. These courses resonated with me, both in my personal life and in my teaching.

In February of this year I attended a funeral for a family friend. Her funeral was held in St Alphege Church and it was the first church funeral I had attended. It felt so powerful in comparison to other services. I have been to visit her grave at All Saints on a number of occasions, visiting my Grandad’s recent interment at the site, too. I feel comforted that they are at rest at All Saints and appreciate Simon’s care and comforting words during the difficult times.

I became more drawn to the church and found my faith in March, making the decision to be baptised and was so in September. Since then, I’ve been driven to develop my relationship with Jesus and put my faith into action. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my story, as for the last 9 months I feel as though I have a new heart. A colleague and friend of mine, a fellow Christian, pointed me to this quote – […]and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19.

I am excited for the next part of my journey and am so thankful to Simon and All Saints for all they have done, and I’m sure will continue to do, for me.  

Many thanks to Abi for sharing her journey. We encourage any others who would like to share their spiritual journey to send it to Simon at for inclusion on this website.

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