Stan the Man

Our Care Centre Cook, Stan Davis, is retiring having worked with the Mission since 1989. He will be missed. Here he tells his BCM story.

BCM has had a profound effect on my life from as far back as fifty years.

At about 18 years old I was working as a butcher in Rackhams food hall. It was my half day off. I was leaving to go home on the number 50 bus to Kings Heath. I walked through the Bull Ring when I heard a man speaking of the evils of drink. I stopped to listen because he was making sense, as well as describing something of my home situation. I wondered how he could know what that situation was.

At the end he invited anyone to come and receive a New Testament book. I took one and began to read it that very night. I believed what I was reading and asked Jesus into my life. The next day I can only describe as feeling like a new creation. While I may not have fully understood what had happened, I knew it was something real and wonderful. Praise be to the Lord! I did not know who that man was speaking in the Bull Ring or whether our paths would ever cross again.

Fast forward eight years. I’m now 25, married with children, just passed my driving test in June 1980 and opening my own butcher’s business. In my early months of business a stranger came into the shop and introduced himself as Rupert Abbott, a city missionary working for BCM.  He and his family had just moved house around the corner and he was looking for a room to use as an office.  We had a lot in common - our faith, BCM, our young families - and I had an empty room upstairs.

Rupert would often have meetings in his office upstairs. One afternoon he came through the shop with a man.  It was the man from the Bull Ring, Edwin Orton. What a wonderful surprise as I shared with them my Bull Ring encounter eight years previously.

Fast forward another 8 years. BCM was looking for a relief Night Manager in their men’s hostel at weekends.  That part-time job turned full-time. From the hostel I moved over to the warehouse collecting, selling and delivering furniture all over the city. Next I moved over to ElderLink where I first drove the minibus collecting clients for their lunch clubs, and then worked in the kitchen, cooking 20 to 40 meals four days a week.

Covid hit us all in 2020. Whilst on furlough I was asked to help at the Care Centre with food preparation. The small, faithful team there had managed to keep serving food and drinks to the guests.   I have spent my last four Christmases cooking at the Care Centre.

I am so grateful for the different opportunities given to me at BCM and I think I’ve done OK. I must have as over the past few years I’ve been known by everyone as ‘Stan the man’. What an uplifting compliment. Thank you, everyone. We know believers never really retire. God says, "I know the plans I have for you." So if it is part of God’s purpose that our paths should meet again, they will.