Sam and Ness from Real Life Church have been married 9 years and both recently gave their lives to Jesus. It all started with an invite to an Alpha course.



“In the Autumn of 2014 I was dropping my kids off at school one morning when I bumped into one of the other mums I knew. We got chatting and she ended with inviting me to an Alpha course. I had been to church as a teenager but I never followed through with it or felt it was for me. I eventually decided to take my friend up on her offer and go along to this course.

I was quiet for the first few weeks and wasn’t sure it was for me but I wanted to finish the course, so I kept going along. It wasn’t until the evening where they taught on the Holy Spirit, that I felt something deep. I burst into tears and I had no idea why, I just knew I needed to go to Church.

I went along to church for a couple of months to find out more, even bringing my children with me who were really enjoying the kids events. One morning in Jan 2015, one of the songs really stood out to me and caused something deeper in my heart to connect. It was in that moment I knew I had to give my life to this Jesus, and become a follower of Him wholeheartedly.”



“I grew up loosely as a muslim but after some difficult circumstances as a teenager, I moved away from any faith I had. I would have described myself as an atheist who was lost and frustrated with no consideration for God, but then my wife, Ness, did the Alpha course.

Over the several months following her becoming a Christian in January of 2015 I started to notice a change in her, she was peaceful and had a new life about her and I couldn’t ignore it. I began listening to her when she was talking about God, and it actually seemed to interest me. It wasn’t long before Ness took me along to the next Alpha course in April 2015. I didn’t think I would benefit from it, but I knew a few people on the course and both of us having a night off from cooking was an added bonus. But then it just started to make sense to me. This was a totally new feeling.

The church seemed really supportive of where I was at and I began to feel at peace. I had never been to a church before, but I went along whilst on the course and felt so welcomed and loved I knew it was home. I gave my life to Jesus during the Alpha course when I prayed for the first time, and it felt right.”


Since Then

The family surname was previously ‘Islam’ and Ness and Sam made the decision that they wanted to change their surname as a family to ‘Isley’, and be baptised in their new name. On the 27 March 2016, Easter Sunday, both Ness and Sam were baptised at Real Life Church showing their commitment to their faith.

They since have attended their first Catalyst festival where their 8 year old daughter learnt to prophesy, and they got to meet many other like minded Christians. They have grown in their faith and are continuing to do so. Sam is now sharing his faith with colleagues at work taking every opportunity to love those around him, and in September 2016, they will take on leading their own Life Group. The best part however is that they now feel a sense of home, peace and purpose to their life and are fully in love with their maker.

By Rosanna Heasman

Rosanna Heasman

Rosanna manages Catalyst’s communications and works part time in Bedford. She is married to Tom Heasman and works as an events manager alongside her role.