Dear friend & partners,

If anyone had said to me that I would be married to ‘Terry Eckersley’ many years ago I would probably have laughed in disbelief.

I first met Terry in a church in Sheffield when I was about 21, Terry would have been 31 then, we both have a different memory of our first meeting, I remember being introduced at the end of a church service, some one said let me introduce you to Terry he’s got an amazing testimony…… I thought he’s a bit full on !!!!, waving his hands and waxing lyrical about how Jesus had changed his life.
Terry also became very good friends with my Mum, she looked after a single mums group in our church and with Terry’s work with young guys from Sheffield YMCA they were a great support to one other with there people and in prayer.

Now at this time there was no connection between Terry and myself he would occasionally be invited for Sunday lunch, and would turn up eat lunch,then fall asleep on the sofa !! Cheek !! He then moved city’s in 2000 and went onto to do bigger and great things in the YMCA.

It wasn’t until my Mum became very ill in December 2005 that really things began to slowing change in our friendship, instead of my Mum and Terry talking it was me and Terry talking.

Over time I think we all change and preconceived ideas we have of others can be challenged, I remember forming my ‘idea’ of what Terry was like. And the person I was getting to know now seemed to be different to that.

I also would say I never felt right about just ‘dating’ people in church, this may be different for other people but I didn’t believe it was right for me. I had been given the privilege of serving on then worship team and also leading worship for 12 years and I knew I wanted to be a good example for others watching my life. I do believe there is the right person out there for everyone as Terry would say their ‘perfect fit’.

I was in my early 30’s at this point, and serving on worship team in the Leeds church plant.
My family and I had been invited to a dinner party at one of the leaders home, conversation began to come up around dating and future partners, Eddie said ‘Judy and I have recommended that people write a list of ‘Ten things’ they are looking for in a future partner, everyone we have encouraged to do this has met there partner within 6 months’. wow that seemed very specific and very quick !!! I thought this was very interesting and may be I should give it a go.

Now the list I wrote didn’t contain complicated things, everyone’s will be different. but what I would say is, what are there most important lasting things you would be looking for? Mine contained things that were important to me. And it really helped me focus rather than be general.

I would probably say from writing the list to being engaged to Terry has about 10 months. And we married 6 months after that. We’ve now been blissfully married 12 years April 2020. God is faithful.
Thanks for your continued financial support and prayers.

Be assured of our continued prayers and love, into 2020
Pastor Jill Eckersley