Getting to know the GBC family
Stories of God at work in the lives of our church family...
Anne – a counter terrorist detective’s story
I was not brought up in a Christian family but in my teens I attended a village church with a friend and was part of the youth section. I stopped going to church after I joined the Metropolitan Police in the early 1980’s. I was a police officer for 33 years and spent my last 12 years as a counter terrorist detective. I played a significant role in most of the high profile terrorist investigations between 2003 and 2015 including the London Bombings.
In 2006 I played a significant role in the covert investigation into a large terrorist cell that was plotting to blow up a number of passenger planes from the UK to the US. This is the case that resulted in the restriction of liquids on planes that still exist today. I worked round the clock for 6 weeks only having a couple of hours off in any 24 hour period. As the terrorists got close to achieving their goal we moved in to arrest them overnight. By the Friday morning we had all of them in custody and I was sent home for the weekend as I had nothing left to give.
It was strange that over the weekend I could not rest. This was the pinnacle of my career; I could never achieve anything more professionally. What we had done saved thousands of lives but there was something missing, it wasn’t enough.
Separate to that I couldn’t understand how the terrorists had a belief that they interpreted as wanting them to kill and commit violence. I wanted a religion that did the exact opposite that loved people. Over the weekend I kept recalling Bible verses and songs from when I was a teenager and had been part of the church youth. I decided that I was going to accept Jesus into my life and to follow him. That weekend I said a simple prayer to ask for forgiveness and commit myself to Christ. I googled churches and finally went to a Sunday evening service. This began a journey that has totally changed my life. This has given me hope for the future and although it doesn’t mean that I won’t go through tough times I know that Christ is always with me.
I found the song ‘In Christ Alone’ very helpful at that time and it remains a favourite of mine. The lyrics start:
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
Later in the song it goes on to say ‘No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand’. No terrorist or any other individual can ever pluck me from the love of Christ. Can I encourage you not to wait as long as I did to make this decision.
(The lyrics for 'In Christ Alone' by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty can be found in full here: https://www.stuarttownend.co.uk/song/in-christ-alone/)
Stuart Townend & Keith Getty Copyright © 2001 Thankyou Music (Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, firstname.lastname@example.org)