Hi, I’m Matt and I’m a fresher studying Natural Sciences at Peterhouse. I’ve lived in and around Guildford, in Surrey, all my life, and it was there that I became a Christian three or four years ago. Despite calling myself a Christian for that long, it’s only recently that I’ve felt challenged to pluck up the courage to be baptised.
I think it’s fair to say that I grew up in a non-Christian family, and really for the first fifteen or so years of my life, going to church was an occasion to be dreaded. My parents, who have kindly come today, decided, wisely I think, not to have me christened as a child, but to let me make up my own mind when I was older.
I seem to remember that in my childhood and early teenage years I knew so little about who Christ really was: other than a broad outline of events in his life, and a few of his parables, I don’t think I knew that much more. It wasn’t until I was about 15 that one of my school-friends started talking properly to me about Jesus. It was through him that God told me of his great love for me and what price he had paid for that. Still despite this, I was still troubled about whether God did really exist or not - how was I to know, since I couldn’t touch him or hear his voice?
However one day as I was out walking, and as I approached the top of a hill, I was compelled to go sit on the wall surrounding the church there. As I sat down on the wall, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of God’s great love - it really was indescribable, and nothing like I’d ever felt before. Yet, I knew so certainly what it was, and knew also that God was calling me to him.
From then on I called myself a Christian, but it wasn’t until someone explained some elementary teaching to me that I really knew what it was all about. Pretty soon, I accepted Christ as Saviour and Lord, but too quickly settled into a comfort zone of the school’s CU and a local church. It is only in the last year or so that I have felt God working in my life more, not just in the good times, but also in the hard times. I have found it so hard to trust him when things are difficult, but the more I have trusted in him, the more he has guided and looked after me. Through this I have come to realise that God really is sovereign over all things, and I am so thankful he offers something so much greater than any of my worries on this earth.
Coming to Cambridge, with its strong CICCU and college groups has been such a blessing, and I feel I have grown so much since coming here. When I first arrived in October, I was overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of teaching, not just in the churches of Cambridge, but also through CICCU, and college groups.
Julian’s talks last term of faith, from Hebrews 11, have really challenged me. The more I’ve prayed about it, the more I realised that I’ve been too scared to make the public proclamation that is baptism. God has been calling me to step out in faith and be baptised, and so that is why I am here today.