I currently live in Warrington but had never ventured here before I met Kev. I'd heard of it but didn't feel the need to see it for myself! I was born and bred in Rossendale, East Lancashire, but moved to Blackpool in my thirties, because my sister had moved there and I had always loved the seaside.
Whilst living in Blackpool, I decided that I would finally realise my ambition of becoming a (very) mature student and applied to university. I wanted somewhere I could travel to quite easily for the first year, as I did not want to live in until my second year. I looked at several, including Bolton, Preston, Edge Hill and Lancaster, but when I attended the open day at Salford University, I decided this was the one for me.
After graduating, I stayed in Salford for a year or so, before going to China to teach English, but moved back to Blackpool after that. I drifted around for some time, moving to Manchester for a while, but eventually got a job in Salford and so I moved back there.
I've always had a special place in my heart for Salford. I was living there when I had my nervous breakdown and I always joke that if you are going to have a breakdown, choose Salford to do it in! The care and help I received were second to none. The healthcare staff I met were amazing, from doctors, to counsellors to therapists. This is also where I met my lovely friend Sam, one of the best friends I ever had, but she passed away suddenly almost four years ago.
More importantly, Salford is the home of my church. I would say it was sheer good luck that I found this church, but I happen to know that luck didn't come into it. It was the Lord's plan. Kev had originally attended the church, before moving to Scotland for ten years but, when his marriage broke down, he returned to his home town of Warrington. He had kept in touch with the church and decided to start attending again. Although we have a half-hour drive to our church, we would not want to go anywhere else.
There are some excellent churches in Warrington but Bridgewater Baptist is where Kev and I met and married and our hearts belong to it. So I firmly believe that God wanted me to move back to Salford for a reason. I'm so glad I did.