What is Community?: Gill Bayliss

Jul 26, 2013

YOUR husband was a well-paid engineer. What made you move into community, share a common purse and adopt a relatively simple lifestyle?

God! The call of God and nothing else. I would never have chosen it otherwise! I believe the call to community was closely linked to the baptism of the Holy Spirit I’d received a few years before. Yes, otherwise I’d have chosen my own sweet will, managed my own home and made my own independent decisions without regard for others in the church family.

How has age changed the way you view things?

Through living in community one has recognised certain weaknesses in one’s character and personality and done something about it. Through age, I’m more relaxed about issues that once seemed so black and white. I’m an idealist, but less so than I was. I’m able to make more allowances for situations and people. People no longer have to fit “my box”.

What’s been your best moment since becoming a Christian?

Being baptised in the Holy Spirit. After a year of desperately asking God for this experience, I went with my husband to a house meeting where an evangelist laid hands on us both. I had never heard speaking in tongues before but out of my mouth came a beautiful language and the power of God went through me. It was an overwhelming and life-changing experience.

How has marriage enriched your life?

It has indeed enriched my life and expanded my outlook. As a young woman, my marriage brought me into a wider circle of people. I was a bit timid and my husband, Peter, invited a wide range of people into our house. Through having children, one is pushed out of comfort zones and this has brought me greater confidence.

Living with someone else you have to learn to accept differences; my husband used to say, “There’s your way of doing things and my way of doing things but both are good”. My early years of marriage stood me in good stead for living in community.