It seems long ago since I walked through the doors of Lower School, for the first time at the age of 12. Some things that I was taught all those years ago, I have to admit, I have forgotten – any Latin that went in, I am delighted has departed! Happily, there are many things that were instilled in me during those formative years that I have done my best to keep close to me. The kindling of faith was one of those. During my school years I found faith, got confirmed and was chapel sacristan. In my 20’s, I was very blessed to find a wonderful woman to be my wife. Our Christian faith has grown together over the 18 years that we have been married and we have been blessed with nine children, currently aged between 1 and 17.
Although both my wife and I had great school educations, we have been home educating our children for the past 10 years as we really felt called to do this. I have also worked from home for the past 8 years. During these years, we lived in Epsom in a typical 4 bed suburban house. It did us well but with one bathroom for 11 of us, and all of us at home, all the time, it was getting a little cramped.
We felt that there was more to life than living in a box in suburbia and so in recent years we were searching Rightmove to find that idyllic pad in the country. Many we inquired about had just been sold – doors were slammed. We took a step back and realised we needed to find a church that fitted our family first and then a house nearby second. The strategy worked and we found a lovely church and then one house that felt right, 4 miles away – and it was still available! Trouble was – this was now in BREXIT time and selling our home in the south suddenly became harder than we imagined. 18 months later and many prayers, and the vendors turning down other offers, we were delighted to be able to move up to Shropshire to a large farmhouse with barns and nearly 3 acres.
We moved last August and since then our lives have changed beyond recognition. We are working on becoming more self-sufficient and now have 12 hens, a cow and her calf as well as a few pigs that have made their way into our freezer. This, along with the seedlings we are caring for in the greenhouses ready for crops this summer, allows us to get milk (and make yogurt, butter and mozzarella), eggs, pork, bacon and gammon, as well as the vegetables as they grow ready for harvest. In this time of lockdown we thank the Lord that he led us here – in His timing.
Our journey has been a turbulent, but truly amazing life changing experience. It was filmed for a TV program, “A country life for half the price” on Channel 5. You can watch it on My5 Catchup.