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Hi there!

Welcome to the second edition of the new look Hope City Magazine! We want everyone in Hope City Church to stay connected to our amazing vision, ministries and activities that make up our church. We are one church, located in soon to be seven cities - so a big welcome to everyone in Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Accra in Ghana and soon to be Frankfurt! In this issue, apart from giving you a glimpse at what’s coming up in 2011, we are looking at a day in the life of the team at Hope City Accra, getting the low down on the songs from the latest album from Hope City ‘We Are Ready’ and chatting to Lauren Shipman about how God has turned her life around 180 degrees from a life of abuse and self harm to a life of freedom and hope as part of God’s family. There’s some brilliant articles and book extracts to read over a hot cup of tea and biscuit including one from a good friend of the church, Dr Scott Wilson from Denmark. He’s given us his pet hates that he’s throwing into Room 101. It’s loaded with lots of extras and we hope it gives you a taste of life as part of Hope City Church.

Dave & Jenny

Dave and Jenny Gilpin Hope City Church Senior Pastors

25th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations




Alone !

Liverpool’s Night of Honour Award’s

Liverpool oozes culture and heritage. The City has a glorious past as the nation’s second port and ‘gateway to the ends of the earth’. It was from Liverpool that the people of Britain set off on an adventure of discovery to the New World.

So now is the time for the Church of God, the gateway to heaven, to rise up and declare it’s a new day for the City of Liverpool. God has a plan and a purpose for every Liverpudlian and Wirralsider to set them off on a divine adventure. He’s intent on launching people into the seas of His favour, influence and significance. It’s time for God’s church to reignite the bright spark of hope that once ran through the city, that unbreakable belief in a better and bigger tomorrow. This is our City. This is Hope City. Let’s bring in the new world of God’s hope and love through Jesus.

Liverpool’s Champion Child The winner of Champion Child with World Champion Gymnast Beth Tweddle

Roger & Anna Roger and Anna Davies

Liverpool Congregational Pastors

Roger Phillips Guest presenter at Liverpool’s Night of Honor awards 2010 Hope City Theatre Company Performing thier version of ‘3 words’


P U ILKLEY C A5M p 0 :0 m in

S u n d ays

urch covery Ch oming Dis lc ey are e th w d e n ’r a e y W Cit y famil e p eeds o L H y e ope Cit into th our new H night g a r in m fo s co u e b pus. Join m a C unch la le a e n as w Wharfed celebratio er! d n th a e y g il to m n of fa ew seaso n d n ra b into a



Finally after 5 years of building a great church in the heart of the city of Leeds - we’re entering into the space where we were almost meant to be! Space to grow, space to see lives changed and space to praise and celebrate our amazing God! When the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon she was amazed at all that she saw. From the great palace, to the setting of the table to the happiness of

his court. We’re believing that over the coming years we’ll see many come into the Megacentre and be amazed at all they see. From not just a great building but a great congregation of people who are living the incredible call of God on their lives. Today is just the start of all the great plans God has for us. Let’s begin to really live it, fill it and have faith for God to do EVEN more!

Chris & Gosia

Chris and Gosia Denham Leeds Congregational Pastors


How incredible is our God! He takes what is old, lacking and on it’s last legs, and makes it new, more than enough and thriving! The bible says that anyone who is in Christ has become a new creation. The old is gone and all things are made new! It’s The Great Turn Around! Can you imagine taking your old, faulty and rusting car into the garage, then returning to find the garage gives you keys to a new, highly tuned and pristine vehicle? You’d be ecstatic! So

more to come and be added to our family. We’re eager to see God complete what he’s begun in all our lives.

Simon & Rachael Simon & Rachael Taylor Newcastle Conregation Pastors

The top five things that annoy Simon Taylor more than anything.



how much more should we get excited over what God has done for us - not for some material possession we have, but our very life! This is the good news that we get to bring into peoples’ worlds, letting people know that they too can accept The Great Turn Around that God wants to give them. In the Newcastle congregation we’re thrilled with the recent decisions people have made to accept all that Christ has done for them. We’re expecting many


It annoys me when cars are not parked straight in between the parking lines.



It annoys It annoys me when I can’t me when hand dryer make one trip upstairs machines only blow with the laundry, cold air. because I need to go back for the sock that got away.


It annoys me when the weeds manage to get through my specially designed membrane sheet & tons of gravel


It annoys me when visiting friends who live on a long terraced street, with cars parked either side, that you end up parking miles away.

Images taken from Dave Gilpin’s eBook ADHA Available today from

What was the weirdest thing about moving to Birmingham? SIMON “Probably the Brummie accent. I’m warming to it now but at first I found it really difficult to just don’t expect it when you look at someone for them to sound like that....weird!”

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham congregation? SIMON “I love that it’s very quickly become like a family!”

ditional If Birmingham had a tra ? dish what would it be y peas

d mush OLLY “KFC or chips an e accent and mi um Br (say it with the you’ll understand!)”

Who’s your gre


t role model? OLLY “G onna sa y the cheesiest answer that you’ll cr in ge at but the m os t mum ! She’s a fab lady , the queen of reinve ntion and has ta ught me almost ever ything I know! She makes a great curr y too!”

If you could plant a church anywhere in the world where would it be? OLLY “Except Birmingham? Ha well probably somewhere with lots of sun & nice beaches!”

See you at the weekend

Simon & Olly


Lions. Coffee. Dreadlocks. Children. X-rays. No one ever said church planting was easy - but the Hope City Team in Ghana brave these every day to spread the kingdom of God and plant our first African congregation. We gave them a call to find out about their typical day and this is what they told us - though the lines may have been a bit dodgy...

05:20 The buzz and crackling of what passes for radio here blasts me awake, tearing me out of my hard bed in the tiny room. Next door they’re building a new house and living in a cardboard box on breeze blocks, and they can’t seem to do it without a screaming radio. The only thing for it is to get up and into the freezing cold shower (with snails in if you’re lucky) and head to breakfast - a fabulous choice of toast, toast or toast.

08:30 We head for the school where we yell devotions to 400 kids in the schoolyard


every day, using goalposts as props. As we walk stall holders shout ‘obolo’ - which means fat and took me a while to take as a compliment, and ‘abruni’, which is white person. We call back “abibini,” or, black person, and they laugh their heads off. It’s becoming a regular joke.

10:00 Nana, on his bike, grabs hold of the car window as we drive to hitch a lift to what Ghanaians call their Oxford Street, the main shopping street and where our new building will be. Churches here wouldn’t let him in because he’s got dreadlocks, but he’s beginning to get to know us, and every time we invite him he says: “I’ll be there, I’ll be there.” Today he pulls out the x-ray of his broken leg for us to see.

15:00 We head to the only coffee shop in a ten mile radius for a taste of home and to cool down - but on the way a lion jumps out of a bush! Used to this by now, we pull out a can of whiskas, throw it in the other direction and run for our lattes, leaving him purring gently.

17:00 We head back to base where Joseph, the guard, greets us with a mournful “Lights off,” which means there is a power cut, which also means no running water. Calls to the companies are no use - it could be out for an hour or three days. Pastor Andy gets a call from the university where we’ve been trying to book a Campus Life venue and have sent letters to and visited every dean, head of faculty and chaplain.

18:30 Half of the team stay for connect, the others go to the YES course back at the cafe. There people arrive in perfect Africa time - two hours late, but at the pastor’s house people have been sat outside waiting for two hours. Later, the power still out, I climb back into bed, and a baby screams from the cardboard house next door. If you would like to do a one year internship in Ghana starting this September through the Leadership Academy visit

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoIce over you with singing.t�

-- Zephaniah 3:17 13

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Jesus didn’t hesitate as he passed the third and last of the canoes, heading directly for the end of the pier. Reaching the end of the dock, he turned to Mack and grinned.

looking back. And for sure, I do not dwell in the future you visualize or imagine. Mack, do you realize that in your imagination of the future, which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind, rarely, if ever, pictures me there with you?”

and can you imagine if the earth wasn’t striving to survive against the humans who were supposed to look after it?” “So why don’t you fix it?” “Because we gave it to you.” “Can’t you take it back?” “After you,” he said, with a mock “Of course we could, but then flourish and bow. It was true. Mack spent a lot of time the story would end before it was “You’re kidding, right?” spluttered worrying about the future, and in his consummated.” Mack gave Jesus a blank Mack. “I thought we were going for a walk, imaginations it was usually pretty depressing, look. not a swim.” if not outright horrible - and God wasn’t “Have you noticed that even though “We are. I just thought going across there. you call me Lord and King, I have never the lake would take less time than going “Why do I do that?” he really acted in that around it.” without wisdom, capacity with you? I’ve asked. Mack laughed, more out of nerves “It is your desperate taken control of imagination is a never than anything. attempt to get some your choices or forced “You want me to walk on the water control over something you hard taskmaster you to do anything, to the other side - that is what you are can’t. It is impossible for even when what you saying, right?” you to take power over the future because were about to do was destructive or “You’re a quick one Mack. C’mon, it’s it isn’t even real and won’t ever be. You try hurtful to yourself and others.” fun!” Jesus laughed. to play God, imagining the evil that you fear Mack walked to the edge of the dock becoming reality, and then you try to make Mack looked back at the lake before and looked down. The water lapped only plans and contingencies to avoid what you responding. “I would have preferred you about a foot below where he stood, but it fear.” did take control sometimes. It would might as well have been a hundred feet. “So why do I have so much fear in my have saved me and people I care about a He looked back at Jesus, who was still life?” lot of pain.” chuckling. “Because you don’t believe. You don’t “To force my will on you,” Jesus “What are you afraid of, Mack?” know that we love you. The person who lives replied, “is exactly what love does not “Well, let me see. What am I afraid of,” by their fears will not find freedom in my do. Genuine relationships are marked began Mack. “Well, I am afraid of looking love. To the degree that imagined fears have by submission even when your choices like an idiot, that you are making fun of a place in your life you neither believe that I are bad. That is the beauty that you see me and that I will sink like a rock. I imagine am good nor know deep in your heart that I between me, the Father and the Holy that” love you. You sing about it; you talk about it, Spirit. We are all fully submitted to each “Exactly,” Jesus interrupted. “You but you don’t know it.” other. Submission is not about authority imagine. Such a powerful ability, the Mack looked down at the water again and it is not obedience, it is all about imagination! That power and breathed a huge relationships of love and respect. We are The person who alone makes you so like sigh. “I have so far to submitted to you in the same way.” us. But without wisdom, go.” lives by their imagination is a hard “Only about a Mack was surprised. “Why would taskmaster. If I may prove fears will not find foot, it looks to me,” the God of the universe want to be my case, do you think said, placing submitted to me?” freedom in my love Jesus humans were designed his hand on Mack’s “Because we want you to join us in to live in the present, shoulder. Mack stepped off the dock. our circle of relationship. I don’t want past or future?” slaves to my will; I want brothers and “Well,” said Mack, hesitating, “I think The landing was softer than he had sisters who will share life with me.” we were designed to live in the present.” thought it would be. His shoes were wet “And that’s how you want us to love Jesus chuckled. “Yes, exactly. But now instantly but the water did not come up each other, I suppose?” tell me, where do you spend most of your even to his ankles. He turned to find Jesus “Exactly! When I am your life, time in your mind, in your imagination, in standing next to him, smiling and they submission is the most natural the present, past or future?” walked out across the lake. expression of your new nature within relationships.” Mack thought for a moment before Mack looked up. The beauty was Mack shook answering. “I spend a big piece in the past, staggering. He could make out the shack, his head. “And all but most of the rest of the time I am trying where smoke leisurely rose from the red, I wanted was a to figure out the future.” brick chimney as it nestled against the greens God who will fix “Not unlike most people. When I dwell of the orchard and forest. everything so no with you, I do so in the present - I live in “You do great work.” he said, softly. one gets hurt.” the present. Not in the past, although “Thank you, Mack. You’ve seen so little much can be remembered and learned by ‘The Shack’ is available at MegaStuff today

16 17

Continued from previous page There later. It seemed an unbearably long the same question over and over again. is no reason time to wait, but there was nothing Until a verse from the Bible came to me they’d not else we could do. in Proverbs 3 v 5, ‘Trust in the Lord with look at it The excitement from earlier in all your heart and lean not on your own closely. The the day had completely understanding.’ Sonographer gone, the unexpected had After reading that It seemed an stood up, slammed straight into our verse, something unbearably long clicked inside of and told lives. We had also learnt the me she was sex of our baby that day - we me and a peace time to wait going to talk were going to have a baby that only comes to someone girl - but after everything that we had from heaven washed over me. Even to work been told, that fact just faded into though I didn’t fully understand why something insignificance. this was happening, I was able to stand out - and that she’d be back in two As we drove home from the back and say, “God I don’t understand minutes. hospital, I was speechless. I couldn’t what is happening to us right now but Those two minutes felt like a quite grasp what had happened and what I do know is that you love me and lifetime. Eventually, the Sonographer what we had been told. I still couldn’t my unborn baby and I will trust in you”. came back into the room with believe it, it felt like I was at the start Over the weekend it was just a someone else and they talked in of a nightmare and I just needed to matter of waiting while we got our hushed voices, looking at the screen. wake up. I remember thinking you appointment to see a heart specialist. Crazy thoughts stacked up in my mind hear about this sort of stuff happening We tried to make the most of our - what if it has two heads? Four arms? to other people and you never think it weekend and tried not to let the It’s amazing where your mind can go will happen to you. negative emotions and fears dominate, when fear takes over. And then she The very next day Simon went which at the time was pretty hard. Both turned to us, and told us there was a back to work; I was at home. I felt Simon and I are pretty positive people, problem with our baby’s like I had to do which helped. They told us there something to heart. A few days later after I’d had time My heart dropped. take my mind off to digest the news about our unborn was a problem with everything. All I I wanted to cry my eyes baby, we had our appointment to see our baby’s heart out there and then - but wanted to do was a heart specialist at St Mary’s hospital there was something to stop thinking, in Manchester, where we were living at else; a peace and a strength was rising stop wondering why, stop going over the time. As we walked into the waiting up inside me that I don’t know what I all the negative things we had been room, I thought to myself, ‘this place would have done without. She showed told. I decided to decorate the upstairs is busy! I hope they are not here for us back to the waiting room, where of our house. So I began to peel off the same reason as us’. As it happened Simon and I sat in complete silence, all the wallpaper off the walls. To be it was just a general scanning ward. trying to let what had just been honest it did start to look like a bomb Eventually my name was called so we said sink in. Around us were women had exploded in the upstairs of my walked through into the room where walking in and out of appointments, house and that’s how it felt inside of I was going to be scanned. I lay down some smiling, some not. me. To Simon’s horror when he got once again on the bed as the specialist I saw one woman coming out home he couldn’t believe what he was began to scan my daughters heart. of a room with her partner, who seeing but luckily for me he is quite had his arm around her - she looked handy at DIY and began to make the devastated. I remember just thinking, upstairs more presentable again. how could anyone go through this Questions played themselves without God? over and over in my mind as if on My name was called again, and repeat: why me? Is there anything I Simon and I went into a doctor’s room. could have done better? Did I not eat He started to explain what they had enough vegetables, did I drink too found. There was a problem with much tea? It’s amazing what you think An extract our baby’s heart - a healthy unborn of in times of crisis in your life. Why from Rachael’s baby’s heart should beat at 125 beats me? I didn’t smoke or drink alcohol. first book, a minute but ours was at only 65. I There are plenty of women who do ‘I Believe in had no idea what this would mean, that sort of thing and their babies are Miracles’. but they had already booked us an all perfectly healthy. God why me! appointment in Manchester three days In my mind I was asking myself


It’s time for all of the sacred cows to be revealed and rejected, and for the real church of power to arise. If you’ve been around church life long enough, somewhere beyond six months or so, you’ll have experienced a few bumps and bruises from people not treating you as lovingly as they should! Usually, the pain subsides and we rise to live another day. That’s unless we get swallowed by the myth that such injustices should never happen, and somewhere out there is a church where people are so lovely no one ever gets hurt. If you find such a church, make sure you stay clear – it isn’t real! Even if it was, it would be so obsessed by not offending people that the whole place would be full of spoilt toddlers. . . miles away from the champion warriors needed to change our dying world. Just as Fairy dish-washing liquid has become antibacterial, it would appear that we have created a doctrine that has produced a sanitized form of Christianity that involves avoiding being hurt, nurturing hurts, talking about hurts, and the ‘group hug’ style protection of hurt people. The word ‘hurt’ is an unusual word in that it is generally only found at the scene and time of injury. If a football player is hurt, it’s whilst being on or near the field of play where the injury took place. When in hospital, the language changes to ‘injured’ or ‘recovering’, but never continues as ‘hurt’. It is only in the church that we continue to use the word ‘hurt’ well after the injury takes place. And The Myth of Mr and Mrs Perfect that is why you cannot heal ‘hurts’. Hurt is an emotive word that has a sting attached. That sting is directed to the one or the place that did the hurting. If ever there was a place where the word ‘hurt’ should be used sparingly – it’s in the church. It is used liberally, however, not because people simply don’t want to forgive, but often because of a Nirvana type of Christianity that some people feel is their right to live out – it’s a myth of perfectionism: no bruises, no hard knocks, no immense difficulties, no rebukes, no corrections, no mistakes and no tension. On top of that, there’s a subtle pressure that one should be both financially dripping and brimming with 100 per cent health, creating the holy grail of the perfectionist movement. Now, before you brand me as a grumbling cynic who has a chip on his shoulder because everyone else is blessed except for him, I do drive a very nice car (thank you,Jesus!), have been blessed with an Adonis body (as well as a good dose of healthy male deception), and love the life I’m living. I’m not bitter – honestly I’m not. I just know that there are too many sacred cows in the field and they’re choking the view!


davegilpin When the Bible says ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news’ (Rom. 10:15) it is putting a lot of effort into being poetic. The quote in Romans was taken from Isaiah 52:7 which states, ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those . . .’ It doesn’t matter where you stick those feet, however – put them on a cushion of black velvet or on a crush of diamonds, they’re still not ‘beautiful’. It’s talking about feet that have walked across rugged mountains, dry valleys and craggy outcrops in order to give someone some life-changing ‘good news’. It’s talking about bleeding feet, bruised feet, battered feet and bloated feet – they aren’t beautiful in any shape or form. But just as a new born baby is pronounced beautiful (when most newborns look a little bit like an alien), so are the bloodied feet of a carrier of good news. It’s poetic, not descriptive. It’s what the baby represents that’s beautiful – a future life, a life of possibilities . . . It’s what the feet represent that’s beautiful – feet that have been prepared to walk on broken glass in order to touch a generation with the good news of Christ. There is a famous hymn called ‘The Old Rugged Cross’. Even though the words of the hymn are powerful

“ it’s definitely time for the wet fish approach to our faith to be replaced by a purpose driven attitudE” and contain the antidote for the curse of sin, it’s easy for songs and stories from old to become a tad quaint and sentimental. ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ can shift from the darkened hill of Golgotha to the romantic breeziness of Mills & Boon simply through the sanitizing of our twentyfirst-century culture. The cross was anything but romantic and sentimental. If Jesus had died by lethal injection, there would be a syringe on top of just about every church in the world. If he’d died by electric chair, people would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks. The cross was an implement of torture, yet, because of what it represents, it’s also very beautiful. Jesus’ blood is gruesome, but every drop shed upon the cross is beautiful. ‘Sacred Cows’ is available from today 23


- Eliot Kennedy

behind the scenes of Hope City ’s latest worship album with two of the C ome songwriters who made it happen - Hope City worship leaders Ryan Gilpin

and Satish Solanki let us into their songwriting secrets. Whether it was a beat, a riff, a lyric or a piano that inspired them, they take you through how the song developed to the final edit - even if, for Ryan, it was cutting out the cheese...

The Best is Yet to Come

With All My Heart

Written by Ryan Gilpin

Written by Ryan Gilpin

It was a surprise to me that not only had I written a fast song, but it was actually fairly good! The phrase ‘The Best is Yet to Come’ can be a bit cliche, and the cheesy melody in the chorus doesn’t help, but at the end of the day it’s a bit of fun, and everyone likes fun. Originally the song was a lot cheesier, as the verses had all major chords - I wouldn’t have changed it, but I was convinced by someone in the band that it was a little bit ‘Jazz hands’, so we changed the chords and added the electric guitar riff.

This has to be one of the simplest songs I have ever written. The chorus is just a response to the verse, in that our words and clever rhymes are not enough to show our worship to God but that He deserves all of our heart, soul mind and strength. I was concerned at the start that the repetition of ‘I love You Lord’ in the chorus was too dull and minimal, but after seeing how the congregation took to it I decided that less is more.

“It has been one of the most fulfilling things I have done. I’m over the moon.” - Eliot Kennedy - Producer and Grammy Award Winner 26


behind the songs

How Amazing Written by Ryan Gilpin This song came about in an unconventional way for me. I had been listening to a song by a band called Magnet where they use a rolling snare beat throughout. I loved how this gave the song motion, and I decided to write a worship song to it. I sat at the piano and began to play, and ‘How Amazing’ was born.

Come to the Water Written by Ryan Gilpin

I wrote this song two years ago, it wasone of the first songs I wrote after releasing our first album at Fabulous 2008. It began in the same way as ‘How Amazing,’ I worked the melody around a really Worship Him Alone Written by Ryan Gilpin cool sound I had found on my keyboard and from this sound stemmed the hallelujahs in the chorus. When writing the lyrics This is really a collection of three songs. The tag; ‘I put for the verses, I chose to repeat the letter ‘s’ in ‘stillness’, ‘secret’, my hope in You oh Lord,’ was taken from a song we sang ‘silencing’ and ‘stormy’ to help the lyrics flow nicely together. three years ago in church. I took the tag out of this song,   as frankly, it was the only good bit of it, and put it with another chorus we have been singing in Church recently Turn the Page Written by Ryan Gilpin called ‘Worship Him Alone’. The verse melody I found on This was going to be the title of the album, but we an old recording on my phone which I had completely changed it to ‘We Are Ready’ as it was forgotten about. a bit bolder. I was in two minds about   what to name this song. Everything I had come up with based on the lyrics, like ‘I’m Chosen, I’m Called’, ‘It’s a New First name terms Day’, just seemed cliché, and I needed Written by Sats Solanki a title that reflected the originality of I wanted to write a song about the melody. We eventually decided to how close God is to us. It’s so call it ‘Turn the Page’ as it sounded fresh and caught the easy to view God as some sort of far away distant uncle and Essence of what the song is about – moving forward and even when we’re spending time with Him to talk to Him like forgetting what is behind. that’s the case. Actually he’s right there with you! It amazes   me how God still wants to use us time and time again even though we’re completely rubbish. We mess up and we miss the mark like ALL the time… (maybe it’s just me) but every time I come back to what God is saying, I’m reminded how much He believes in me and how much He loves to do stuff   through me.

“ I sat at the piano and began to play, and ‘How Amazing’ was born.”

Ignite my vision Written by Sats Solanki I remember thinking of words to do with cars for some reason – ignition, kickstart, into gear etc. Thankfully we didn’t end up using all of those words in the end! I had to rewrite the lyrics to this song a couple of times, especially in the chorus, as musically it sounded great but lyrically it didn’t quite flow right!

Trust. Rest. Wait. Written by Ryan Gilpin I wrote this song when I went away to see some family friends in Aberdeen. I often write my best songs there as they have a beautiful grand piano in their sitting room. I was having a quiet time on the Saturday night before church on the Sunday where I had to perform a song, and as I was praying, I said a line that caught my attention; ‘God, I am just learning to trust in You’. Instantly I thought this would be a great basis for a song with vocals and a solo piano, so I continued on this theme of learning to trust in God, and developed it by writing reasons from my own life, why we sometimes don’t trust in God. I only decided to put the song on the album on the very last night of recording, two weeks before the release - It was about eight o’clock at night and we had two more songs to finish and only the rest of the night to do it. We were recoding the start of ‘Worship Him Alone’ on the grand piano, so as it was all set up to record vocal and piano anyway. Eliot agreed it was a good idea, so we recorded the song, added some reverb and warmth to the vocal, and that was it 29


I lived in a lot of fear. As a child my home was very controlling. It was military style. I was not to speak unless spoken to and I had to behave certain ways in public. If I was sat in the living room I had to sit so straight on the floor with my legs and arms crossed that I would be in pain for sitting in such a abnormal position. My dad would record us daily on video without letting us know, then he would play it back to us so we could see exactly when we broke his military style rules. The love that I was never really shown from my Dad, my Uncle showered upon me. He had time to play with me, gave me money and he’d let me stay up late. My Uncle was a paedophile who groomed me into spending time with him where he would sexually abuse me. He would make recordings of the abuse and keep it. These video’s were found by my Aunt who then reported him to the police and then was convicted. By the age of twelve I was pretty messed up. I was scared of growing up as I knew what was expected of me as a woman and did not want to do it. Things at home were awful and I was being bullied at schoo. l felt like I had no escape and I controlled the only thing I could which was my eating habits. At the age of thirteen I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa the Doctors told my Mum I may not survive the night as my organs were failing. After been stabilised on the hospital ward I was then transferred to a children’s psychiatric ward. The hospital was awful and if I didn’t do as requested then the staff would force me to co-operate. I was fitted with an eating tube but the voices of Anorexia were so much stronger than any advice I was given so I would constantly pull the tube out. Continued over the page...


Continued from previous page. rehab where I gave my life to God. I became clean from I felt so guilty nourishing my body that if I did not heroin but I didn’t have a proper understanding of who do what I could to stop the food going in I would be God was so this didn’t last. I didn’t trust people so I didn’t overwhelmed with guilt. I started to self harm and with trust what they said about God. For the next three years every piece of food that went into my body a cut went I carried on with all my bad habits until I hit rock bottom. across my arm. Whenever the doctors took the tube out I I hated myself and with every stupid decision I made it would starve myself. I hated myself and would not give up brought more pain into my life. control of something I thought was helping me. After one really bad decision the consequences were I was so underweight that when another resident in severe. I had been out with a man I had met at a bail hostel. the hospital sexually assaulted me I could not fight him off He was on probation and we went out for drinks. This guy and when I screamed for help no words would come out of was violent he forced me to stay in a flat for twelve hours my mouth because I had been mute he assaulted me. That night with every piece of food where for so long. I was in hospital for something was taken from me but three years with that same cycle. that went into my body a the very next day God gave me a I was discharged aged sixteen promise that what the man had cut went across my arm taken, God would give me back. and within one week I had met a guy and moved in with him. I was I went into a Christian already into drugs and gradually I increased onto harder Rehabilitation programme where I chose to ‘try God’ and ones. every time I wanted to quit I reminded myself that I had A switch flicked inside of me after one particular binge. nothing else. I let God in slowly and He restored my heart I had witnessed something awful and from that moment gently. As I handed all the hurt and pain over to Him He on I stopped eating. Before I knew it I was back in hospital. healed me. I had been sectioned. I had lost my eye sight due to Healing does not come over night. It is believing that malnutrition and I found out my Mum had cancer. Christ died for our freedom. That is our birthright and I needed to get better for my Mum but did not know as Children of God we personally and individually need how. I turned back to what I knew...drugs. There was a girl to take hold of that. My relationship with God grew and in the hospital who I asked to get me some amphetamines. the more I got to know God the more I understood the She came back with Heroin and I let her inject me with nature of God. I learnt to trust God and I trusted him with it. I got asked to leave the hospital because I was using everything. Somethings were painful. It was hard to hand Heroin. I was an addict for the next few years - hiding, over to God that child inside that was battered and abused lying, cheating and stealing. I was homeless having been but I have such a greater life now. Every day is exciting, I kicked out of my Dad’s house. My sister then took me in am living my life completely for God...and there is no place on the promise that I had to get help. I went to a Christian I would rather be.

Lauren now works both for City Hearts and The Sheffield Megacentre and is involved Hope City’s programme managment. She is also available to share her story as part of the City Hearts Life Stories Tour.

City hearts is a ministry of Hope City Church realeasing women from life-controlling issues such as adictions, easting disorders as well as human trafficking. Find out more by visiting 34



1. 2. 3.

All men have Refridgeration Blindness. It begins to develop during puberty. What they’re looking for inside the fridge is the last thing they actually see.

Most women believe that a friend will be impressed by her new outfit, new house, news from her sister in Spain and the height of her growing children. Most men believe that a friend will be impressed by his new free broadband deal.

If a man expresses an opinion in a forRest with no women present for miles is he still wrong?

If their partner went out and got a beehive hairdo, 90% of men would not notice unless it was pointed out to them.

4. 5.

Long after the movie has finished and everyone has gone to bed, men are still up watching the entire movie again with the Director’s commentary, deleted scenes and alternative endings.

In their lifetime men go from owning a slinky, a 3D viewfinder and a Nintendo watch to owning a complete series of Top Gear on DVD and a set of Simpsons clothing accessories.


Men are incapable of letting a woman drive the car while they’re in it. It’s not that he doesn’t trust her but her cornering, acceleration and breaking could do with a little extra work.

7. 8. 10.

If a man has an itch he has to scratch it whenever and wherever that itch may occur. Women don’t understand how itchy a man can get!


If a woman needs to carry some extra personal effects on holidays, she’ll buy herself a shoulder bag. If a man needs to carry some extra stuff, he’ll buy a bum bag.

Most women suffer from disliking the way they look, while most men suffer from the opposite – they think they look brilliant – especially when naked!

While most women talk by telling a story, men talk by saying ‘I’ve got three things to say about that’. They love lists.


MEN ARE FROM MARS The Men’s ministry of Hope City Church has returned with a ‘Grrrrr...’


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Hope City Magazine Issue 2  
Hope City Magazine Issue 2  

The magazine of Hope City Church.