One of our new Trustees is a face known to many already. David Fowler has always felt called to help grow Groups that introduce young people to Jesus within a supportive fellowship. A place where they know they belong and can soon start to serve and lead.
“Crusaders has been integral to my journey with Jesus and serving as a Trustee will give me the chance to give back to the organisation I’ve loved for 48 years. My Cru’ resume reads approximately: Boy (1972-1980), Leader (1980-2010), Area Development Worker (1993-1999), Camps (1975-2016).
“I still recall the morning in 1972 when Derrick Lewin (co-leader of the Wallington Class) came to speak at our school assembly, inviting us all to a party. That party was a noisy delight, with 70 or 80 junior boys and some wildly energetic party games, followed by a generous tea and rounded off with a spectacular action film I was hooked, returned the next day at 3pm - and have remained hooked ever since.
“Wallington Crusaders was blessed with outstandingly generous and faithful leaders – in my formative years Noel ‘Chips’ Carpenter, Roger Hill and Derrick Lewin were the most constant influences. I responded to Jesus’ call to follow him at my first Union camp (Bembridge 2, 1976) and was faithfully discipled at Wallington throughout my teens. Encouraged and kept by the cycle of Sundays, swimming trips, table tennis evenings, rambles, events and camps. You’ve not lived until you’ve played full contact British Bulldog in a narrow Crusader hall flanked by red-hot ridged steel radiators (outlawed long ago!) - or crawled under the stage through pitch-black darkness, cobwebs and grime in the fortnightly attempt to ‘Escape from Colditz’!
“We played, sang, studied the Bible, mixed with older lads, fell out, got scolded (sometimes we deserved it!) but we always knew we were cared for. Looking back I think that’s what really counted – the strong sense of belonging and being loved. With Jesus at the centre of it all.
“Recently, when a homegroup meditation called for an imaginary visit to a special place, I returned to the site of our Whit Camp - in Red Barn Field, Gomshall where I recaptured my deep sense of well-being as part of a group who loved each other and were discovering together what it means to live for Jesus.
“My hope as a Trustee? To play my part in helping align every decision and resource with this fundamental calling - to serve, train and enable our Leaders to share the gospel message and to meaningfully disciple all who come to faith.”
Image: Wallington Crusaders’ Podex Team – circa 1986. David is central in the back row in a pale yellow shirt.