*** DEBUG END ***

When the young reconsider their religion

05 October 2012


From J. Strawson
Sir, - I read with interest Jo Swinney's article "I'm not coming to church any more" (Features, 28 September). Our two boys, both in their 20s, were brought up in an Evangelical Anglican church with a strong children's and youth ministry. Both, however, drifted away from church, and became disenchanted with Christianity in their early teens.

What we have learned from the past ten years is that this is all about relationship, and certainly not about filling the family pew, nice as that would be.

Our older son wanted to spend some time volunteering abroad at the end of his second year at univer­sity, and, through our connections, we were able to arrange for him to spend two weeks with a Christian development charity in Africa. It was that experience, along with the sup­port of Christian friends from his previous school, that helped him to make a commitment as a Chris­tian at age 21. He chose to join a house church, where we joyfully attended his full-immersion baptism.

Our younger son, now living at home after three years at university, is currently going through a time of huge questioning. Forget Alpha: this is hard-core. My husband and I are both in church leadership, and our exhausted 60-something-year-old brains are no doubt benefiting from the workout that they are getting, rethinking areas of our faith which have not seen the light of day for years. We hope and pray that he will eventually come to faith, but would never seek to control him.

Our older son's faith is far stronger as a result of his time of questioning. He has now made it his own.

It is all about allowing each child to be the person God made him or her to be, not trying to fit them into our mould. I would say to your readers: if your returned son or daughter does not want to go to church with you, have you thought about missing church for once, just to spend a bit of catch-up time with him or her?

55 Northwood Avenue
Purley CR8 2ER

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Church Times: about us

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)