NB Sola Gratia - Cruising and Ministry
First and foremost, there is nothing special about us! We are just normal people who happen to live on a narrowboat and are Christians.
We do not force our beliefs on others, but we are open about them, and are happy to share our faith if asked. Our ministry means we are happy to share with those who want to find out more as we are cruising around the system.
We are "Continuous Cruisers", meaning we do not have a home mooring, so we cruise around the system. This is a great way to see the country (we can get to many places in England and Wales) and meet lots of new people. We enjoy attending different churches and sharing in their Worship.
The crew consists of Tim Clarke (the "Captain"), Tracey Clarke (the "First Mate") and Oakley (the Guide Dog).
The first of a number of prophesies, back in 2006, did not make an awful lot of sense to us at the time. We were seeking something more immediate, and this certainly did not fit that! In fact, it left us confused, but with a sense of anticipation.
In October 2008, we had a narrowboat holiday which was very much needed. For various reasons, life had become stressful, not helped by lack of money, time and energy. However, we had amassed enough Air Miles (from supermarket loyalty points) over the years to cover the cost of this holiday - all we had to pay was a £16 admin fee! Almost within moments of setting off, we felt de-stressed, and felt the calling to the canals. We also noticed BCF stickers on many boats and the huge BCF banner at "The Taft" on the Trent & Mersey near Great Haywood junction (many boaters will be familiar with this), where our holiday started. God plans these things!
That holiday started in glorious sunshine, with our daughters sunbathing on the roof, but by the mid-point, the weather had turned. We were hit by a blizzard, and on the roof we now had a snowman! Even this did not put us off. In fact, on the contrary; as the week progressed, our longing to be on the waterways grew ever stronger.
Since then, a number of prophesies pointed us further towards this new life.
Redundancy for Tim in December 2013 led to a complete life re-evaluation. Without Tim working, bankruptcy would have been inevitable, with all its awful ramifications. A lot of prayer, both personal and from the church family led to assurance from God that He would use this situation for His glory. Around this time, contrary to previous understanding, Tim and Tracey learned that selling the house was an option, with just enough equity to clear the mortgage and most of the debts, and buy a boat to liveaboard.
So, the house went on the market - and sold within 48 hours for the full asking price!
Click on our names below for our stories:
The crew of the Good Ship
First Mate: Tracey (left)
Captain: Tim (right)
Guide Dog: Oakley (front)