Our Stories: Ben Daintree
I was brought up in Shoreham-By-Sea – a small town just outside of Brighton, the best city in the world. I grew up in a very supportive household with Christian parents and my younger brother. I’m passionate about all things musical and I like food…a lot. After finishing college I found myself moving to Canterbury to undertake Teacher Training at Christ Church University.
Throughout my younger years, I attended church with my family and found myself in a great friendship group of fellow Christians my age. I had gone through the motions in terms of attending Sunday Schools and Youth groups. Playing guitar from an early age, I was also dragged into church serving very young as well – playing in worship teams and for choirs since I entered double figures. Although this had given me a grounding in terms of friendships in church and knowledge about bible stories, I had been giving a lot to the church without really thinking about why I was there, and without much of a heart behind what I’d been told from a young age.
This leads me to talk about my later teenage years. Because I’ve always been so into playing the guitar, naturally I ended up playing in a load of different bands… and in some interesting situations. Church was such a routine for me from a very young age that anything out of the routine became extremely exciting. Because of this, Jesus took a backseat. I’d discovered that being on stage in front of lots of people was fun. I’d also discovered that everything that came along with the egotistical lifestyle of promoting a band, being in a band and partying in a band was fun. In short, for a few years, I endured a number of damaging relationships and drugs and alcohol became the go between through gigs and college – the space Jesus once filled.
One summer I was asked by a Youth group I once led to take some children to a Christian conference called Soul Survivor. I agreed, thinking it would be a fun week of camping and meeting up with some friends I once knew well. God spoke to me in a strong way that week – about his plan for my life, the gifts I’ve been anointed with and how he wants me to use them. I was challenged by some friends about my lifestyle and in the presence of the Holy Spirit, I recommitted my life to Jesus.
My years at university were largely me figuring this all out. Finding which path Jesus wants me to walk, and how Jesus wants me to overcome each hurdle. Having been blessed by this wonderful church and a great group of friends to help keep me strong in faith, I’m currently busy being in love with Jesus. I’ve seen God at work in areas of my life I’d never have imagined and have seen his grace at work, rendering me guilt free from my chequered past.
As for me now… I’m embarking on the Gap-Year that Relational Mission churches run called ID, Working in the Student ministry at The City Church, ensuring the students in Canterbury have as much fun as I did! I’m loving giving this year over to serving the church, before I enter the world of full-time teaching next year.
About the Author
Ben is a member of the City Students team and currently participating in the Intentional Discipleship (ID) course at City this year. Ben attended Canterbury Christchurch University over the past 3 years, during which time he studied Primary Education. Hobbies include shredding guitar and drinking fancy teas.