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Greg Bate (b. 1943)
Autobiography Greg Bate (b. 1943)
Born in 1943 in Bexleyheath, London, during a German air raid. My mother died just after giving birth to me. My father was in the RAF for the rest of the second world war and couldn’t take care of me, so he found a home for me with his sister and husband whom I looked upon as my mother and father. Both were elderly but were helped by other close relations.
The result being overwhelming love being shown to me. I was taught exactly what real love is, introduced to Jesus and Christianity and how to pray. The effect is that I have never wanted to permanently leave St. Helens. I realised how important early up-bringing is for a child.
I was confirmed in church as a Christian in 1958 and then began work in the Health Service and went through the usual traumas of growing up, e.g., love, grief, death of loved ones and guilt, plus the search for truth and purpose of life. During this time I developed Type 1 Diabetes, after which I found a new lease of life – studying O & A levels and then gaining a Degree in Sociology, Geography and Religion. Singing in a church choir during this time introduced me to the beautiful music found there, plus my future wife and fellow-evangelist, Linda, who is a literal life-saver.
My love of jazz music, however, remained with me, e.g., Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonius Monk etc. I also became a qualified tennis coach.
Teaching religion in secondary schools, plus sociology in sixth form colleges, helped to pay the mortgage,
I am a Christian Socialist.
After retirement, I taught myself to play the saxophone, helped by my limited ability to play piano – blues and jazz. This led to composing songs again which first took hold in the 1960s. All of this was combined with street evangelism which Linda and I have found to be invigorating and challenging. We look upon this as a mean of reaching out to people who hardly ever set foot inside a church. We also have found out that during these last 20 years quite a few church attenders do not understand the Good News – they express good works over Grace. We have spoken to many hundreds of people and it has highlighted many of the gifts of the
Spirit needed – e.g., discernment, healing and deliverance, etc. This is why we try to work in a small team of at leasts two or three people, using music and tracts. Prayer before, during and after this work, is vital. We could write a book on this witnessing activity alone and what it has taught us about our own faith, and the Lord. We will continue with this outreach work as long as God is willing for us to do so.
Here are some articles which I published in a booklet booklet which highlight some of the issues many Christians and non-Christians often ask about, but find that the orthodox churches rarely discuss or teach about them year after year.
This fact was brought home to me after taking part in street evangelism and trying to answer the questions people often asked when talking with them there. Also, after decades of church-going, it made me realise that sermons, Bible studies and meetings never cover any of these matters.
The articles are an attempt to remedy this in a small way and are meant to provoke reaction, criticism or any additions to the topics covered.
I hope to bring out a limited series of booklets in the future.