I was raised in the Anglican tradition and my mother was a committed Christian, something I recognised from a young age. Despite this, we only really attended church at festival times so I wouldn’t have described myself as having a deep faith in Christ, rather that I lived within the wider Christian tradition and was part of the church community.
I feel that I have been on this Christian journey my whole life and that there have been many people who have inspired me and encouraged me along the way. However, one specific person had a particularly profound influence.
About ten years ago, when I went through a very difficult period in my life and took some time off to recover, I sought to re-examine my values and purpose and engaged more closely in what it meant to be a Christian. This led me to spend a short period of time on retreat at Mucknell Abbey, an Anglican Benedictine community in Worcestershire. There I met Abbot Stuart.
The retreat granted the opportunity for me to reflect deeply, which I didn’t feel I had done before. In conversations with Abbot Stuart, I was able to discover and gain the confidence to call myself a Christian and begin to live accordingly. Both of my parents were academics and as a result this meant I had spent much of my life over-analysing the basis for what it meant to be a Christian. This had almost become a barrier to me taking the step to commit to a personal relationship with Jesus.
Abbot Stuart helped me discern that personal faith is not something I needed to over-analyse. I learned that if I felt comfortable that I was in a dialogue with God then I was already in a personal relationship with him. Since this time, my faith has come alive. Opportunities to invest time in helping other people have helped me to understand what it means to be a Christian. The catalyst for this was when I was asked to chair the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings.
As many say, it is easy to see the hand of God at work when looking back. I find it encouraging to see how God has brought certain people into my life at different stages, right when I needed it, and how he always seems to bring things together in the end.
As told to Pathways magazine by Sir Hector Sants. Sir Hector was recently appointed Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance.