At the end of July 2021 I was out for a walk and I saw a notice in the window of Argyle Community Church advertising Torch. The notice said ‘Do you need help?’
At the time I was feeling lonely, I had no confidence, and I needed help with my English, but I didn’t think my problem was big enough. It was in the middle of COVID and many people had serious problems.
I walked past but something in me brought me back. I took a photo of the sign and took it home. After a few days I had the courage to send an email to Torch. Two days later I received an answer from Frances. She was an English teacher who helped to organise the English classes at Argyle Community Church. We met a few times for coffee before the classes started back in September.
I found friends, a family and a community of people who accepted me and my family. I was welcomed as if they had known me for a long time.
Frances invited me to come to Argyle Community Church on Sundays and at first I was very nervous to go along, however I did go with my husband and son. I discovered a very different kind of church to what I was used to. My Catholic tradition was very repetitive – full of rules and ritual. This church was full of people who were alive and the message was so relevant to today!
I found friends, a family, and a community of people who accepted me and my family. I was welcomed as if they had known me for a long time. Frances showed me a map on the wall which said, ‘A Church For All Nations’. She put her arm round me and said “Look, everyone is welcome here.” I will always remember that moment.
Now, 8 months later I am still going with my family every Sunday. I have made good friends, I help with the coffee, and I attend the English classes on a Monday evening.
Argyle Community Church gave me my first English Bible. I meet with Frances and another Spanish speaking lady every week to read and understand more of the Christian message.
After Christmas, we studied the Essentials course which teaches what Jesus did for me on the cross. I understand this is real for me every day. I prayed that Jesus would come into my life and that the Holy Spirit would help me live for him every day. At Argyle I learnt a song which explains how I feel:
“Where you go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
When you move, I move
I will follow….”
I have received so much more than I ever imagined.
I believe that God led me to Torch and to the family at Argyle. Now I have so much more confidence and my life has changed. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact Torch. It’s easy to do and they will help you in whatever way they can. I have received so much more than I ever imagined.
Beth is from Spain, and she has lived in Reading for nearly 7 years with her husband Moses and 16-year-old son, Ivan.