Hello my name is Danny Hawkes. I am married to Susan and we have three children.
I was born in Folkestone, but as a child my family moved around quite a lot – I went to seven different primary schools! When I was ten my parents divorced and I settled back in Folkestone with my dad and two sisters, where I stayed until my early twenties.
I drank heavily and took drugs because I was struggling for purpose in life.
I wanted to escape from the trap I felt in, so I began to move around. I lived in both Gillingham and Chatham for a short while and then Canterbury. The drugs stopped but not the alcohol. It gave me a mask to hide behind and was an escape from what seemed meaningless reality.
After a year or so I began a degree course at university and studied different religions. It was during my time there that I found answers to life’s ultimate questions.
I found that all the major religions said the same thing: in order to get to heaven, discover some sort of happiness now, or perhaps escape the cycle of life as it is and find peace in ‘nirvana’ then you must do this, this and this, plus a whole load of other must do’s and don’ts.
I had thought Christianity was just the same but then I discovered it was different.
The message of the Bible was: ‘Forget it! You cannot get to heaven by the things you do’. I was genuinely shaken. I soon realised that changing my life, something I had tried to do by becoming a Buddhist, made no difference. I had offended God and was what the Bible calls a sinner.
Was there any way that I could be right with God? In my emptiness I found the answer: Jesus Christ! What we cannot do God has done for us. He sent His Son, Jesus, who lived in a way that God wanted: without sin. Then in dying on the cross, He paid with His own life the debt owed God by sin.
This message changed my life. The year was 1993 and God had saved me! As a result I found that I no longer needed the prop of alcohol. Life did have meaning! I was created by God to serve in His universe.
Around this time I met Susan, who was already a Christian, and we were married in 1995.
I went into teaching for eight years before working on a voluntary Christian helpline in Stoke-on-Trent. I started preaching and did further study before being called to be the pastor of the Granary Evangelical Church on 1st June 2009.
If you have questions about the meaning of life I would be glad to spend some time in discussion with you.
Please use the contact form to contact me.