Ten Times As Bad

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undefinedTen Times As Bad, the life story of Mark Bowden, was published last week by Lulworth Cove. Mark was born in Sandbach, Cheshire, in the mid 1970s. Despite the prosperity of the area, Mark missed out on the opportunities that many children have and set off down a path which eventually led to several prison sentences for theft and drug dealing and eventually for a longer stretch for attempted murder. When Mark was a violent drug addict, he had a tendency towards extremes. "If it's worth living for, it's worth dying for".

Mark was searching for a way out, he attempted suicide and failed but then a strange meeting with a man in a tweed jacket made him reassess life.  In prison he began a journey back to God.  He gave his life to Jesus in prison, but then found being a Christian was no free pass to an easy life; the pressure of being a “successful Christian” had its own challenges. As a Christian Mark wanted to baptise everyone he met, but at times lost sight of the reason why. He slipped back into addiction and yet even in the darkness he found, in the love of his wife, his friends and his God a way out of the darkness and into light.  Mark’s story, that has been ghost-written by Sue Bishop, is an encouragement to those who think they have walked so far away from God that they can never find him again. This is a story about God loving us not for what we do, but for who we are.

The launch took place at St Mary’s Sandbach on the 9th January.  Ven Ian Bishop who acted as host to the event said ‘St Mary’s features in the story as the place Mark cried out to God, so it was very appropriate that we were at St Mary’s to celebrate the telling of the story.’

Bishop Keith, who wrote the forward to the book, spoke at the launch and said that ‘Mark’s story is the gospel story, it is a story of a God who reaches down and lifts us up.’

The proceeds for the book will go to The Birch Tree Trust.  This is a new charitable trust that is set up to work with ex-offenders who want to find healing in Christ and a new way of living.  The Trust is working towards establishing a base in South Cheshire where real support can be given to those who need it and to work with Churches who have a heart for those coming out of prison.

If you would like to order your own copy of the book then write to info@birchtreetrust.co.uk

Waterstones in Crewe are also selling the book and a Kindle version of the book is also available on Amazon

More information can be found on The Birch Tree Trust website www.birchtreetrust.co.uk