Mel McCulloch was born in 1976 and lived in several different places during her childhood because her father moved around a lot with the Royal Marines Bands Service.
The place that had the biggest impact on her faith growing up was the Central Methodist Church in Launceston, Cornwall. She joined a youth group and attended ‘Spring Harvest’, run by the Evangelical Alliance.
In this extract, Mel describes her childhood as ‘gently growing up with Jesus’ rather than having a moment of conversion, and the importance of singing, which for her, is a way of praying.
Growing up with Jesus 2.11′
Mel came up to Oxford Brookes University in 1994, where she studied history and then completed a PGCE. She joined the Christian Union which was run by St Ebbe’s, an evangelical church in the centre of Oxford. On an ‘away weekend’ with the CU, she realised that in regard to her faith, she was wearing ‘the wrong shoes’ and made a decision to move to Wesley Memorial. Mel takes up the story.
Walking into Wesley Mem 1.44′
Soon after joining Wesley Mem, Mel got involved in Junior Church and started to feel part of the church family. Here she explains what the Wesley Mem offers and why it resonates with her.
Exploring Faith 3.10′
Mel met Malcolm through friends at Wesley Mem and the couple married and had a son, John. They then conceived another baby, Emily, who was stillborn at 24 weeks. In this very moving account of the pregnancy and birth, Mel talks about her feelings and her faith, and how she sees Emily as ‘the gift we gained’ rather than the baby that was taken away.
Before having a family, Mel had left teaching and got a job as a lay worker at Wesley Mem. When her third child Jim was 2, she started working as a children and families’ worker at another church, but later took on the role of Children, Families and Outreach Worker at Wesley Mem.
She says she was very happy to have more time with her own family and to be back with her ‘big family’, Wesley Mem.