The Parish of Sandal Magna

Who am I and where do I fit in?
 Craig Orr


When were you born and where?
I was born in 1964 in Bermondsey London where my father and mother were working for London City Mission.

Do you have any interesting family memories?

I think one of note is when I met my Grandfather for the first and last time in 1991. Up to a few weeks before I had met him I was under the impression he had died in the second world War. Armed with a few shreds of information I managed to glean from my father I tracked him down to Chatham, Kent. I called him up on the phone and said you don't know me but I'm your grandson. A pregnant pause followed whilst we both gathered our emotions together enough for us to continue our conversation. He then invited me to meet with him and his wife. So I travelled down to Chatham and spent the day catching up, listening to him reminiscing on the war and answering questions about the daughter and son he had never seen grow up. Time flew by and soon it was time for me to leave. As Grandad walked me to my car we were both creating such a noise in what was normally a quite terraced street that Grandad’s concerned neighbours came out and stood at their front door. As far as they were concerned Grandad had no family other than his wife. Seeing their bewildered faces Grandad added to their angst by proudly shouting as tears ran down his face this is my grandson.

Who influenced you most in your life?

My grandmother and her love for the Lord and books by C S Lewis probably in that order.
How did you come to faith? 
I spent my teenage years growing up in Glasgow, close enough to the Scottish national football ground, to be able to tell if a goal had been scored just by the famous Hamden roar. My secondary school was no stranger to sectarian violence as the trouble from Ireland spilled over into Glasgow creating a strong gang culture. One day in a chance meeting I was invited along to a Baptist Church with an active youth group and it was there that I first saw the contrast between my school friends and these young people. Their love of Christ was making a notable difference to their attitudes and the way they lived their lives. This created a hunger inside of me for the truth and an understanding about the relevancy of the Christ of the cross that would only be filled when I realised that I was a sinner, and confessing my sins gave my life to Christ.

How do you occupy your time? 

Family taxi service, Managing and Maintaining all the Church buildings as Church Warden, Writing, Running, Learning Spanish, Skiing, & DIY.

What recent experience of God stands out?

I was recently privileged to be at a reunion with over a 100 missionaries with whom I had worked but never seen for almost 30 years. These friends shared there stories of sadness, joy and hope whilst a webcast instantly connected us with people around the world who could not make the trip. Towards the end of the retreat we watched pictures of fallen friends who had ran well, won the race and beaten us into glory. God’s grace was evident in our meetings and as I looked back over the years I felt his hand in the course of all of our lives was clear. Before leaving we all talked of meeting up again in 5 years time and I could not help but wonder what great things God has in store for us in the future.

If there was one thing you would change in the world what would it be and why?

President Trump and quite honestly there really isn't enough space in grapevine to write down all the reasons.

Share something you get excited about in your life?

The feeling of pride when the kids do something selfless.

What is your favourite film, play, work of art, piece of music, band, book or all six? 

Citizen Kane, Wicked, 
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, 
The Planets by Gustav Holst), 
ATF: After The Fire (does anyone remember that band?) 
Any Arthur C Clarke, CS Lewis or Stephen Lawhead books.

Who would you like to spend time with apart of course from your family? 

A few good friends spring to mind one called Paul Young who runs a charity called Off the Fence and advises the government on homeless issues, another called Dave Hoffman who works as a Missionary for Operation Mobilisation in America and Tim Atkinson who 30 years ago helped me turn a humble Maestro 1.3L into a 2L MG Maestro that was subsequently stolen and used as a get away car for a bank job!




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