Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Back to Heart of Home; AFTER Finding Faith and Travelling the World, Elswick Lad Gary Taylor Is Hoping to Breathe New Life into Newcastle's West End from a Renovated Church. FRANCESCA CRAGGS Reports

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Back to Heart of Home; AFTER Finding Faith and Travelling the World, Elswick Lad Gary Taylor Is Hoping to Breathe New Life into Newcastle's West End from a Renovated Church. FRANCESCA CRAGGS Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: FRANCESCA CRAGGS

WHILE most churches are reluctantly closing their doors, one former Methodist church in Benwell, Newcastle, has been given a bright new future.

And it's all thanks to one man's vision for improving the lives of people in the West End of Newcastle.

Pastor Gary Taylor has transformed the formerly derelict church on Adelaide Terrace, bringing The Potter's House Christian Church into the updated site.

In doing so the 40-yearold is seeking to bring hope to the community in which he was born and bred.

Growing up in Elswick it was easy to get in with the wrong crowd, according to Gary. Yet after discovering God at 16, he managed to steer his life towards a more positive future.

Gary now lives in West Denton with his wife Catherine and six children, Jessica, 10, Isaac, eight, Samantha, seven, Daniel, six, Matthew, four, and oneyear-old Ruby.

He said: "Looking back, I wasn't a Christian or into religion.

"I was just one of the lads growing up in Elswick really. I had a pretty normal kind of upbringing doing the typical things that lads do. Fortunately I managed to get involved in sport and thankfully didn't get into drugs.

"I was the sort of lad who wanted the most out of life and wanted to live life to the full.

"I'd heard about this particular church on Stanhope Street in Newcastle. One morning I rode to the church on my bike, sat at the back, folded my arms and just listened.

"I did that for about four months. Don't ask me why. I just heard the message and I knew it was true."

Deciding his future was with the church, Gary, then 22, dropped out of Newcastle College where he was studying to become a physiotherapist.

He said: "I decided this was the way to go. I felt the spirit of God touch my heart. It was a massive decision for me and I wrestled with the idea for months.

"I'd always been involved in sport and wanted to be a sports physio. It started from there. …

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