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Jackie Slough, James Slough and Alan Slough Warm and welcoming atmosphere Delectable afternoon snacks in local Cotswolds tearooms Alan and Jackie Slough We pride in beautiful and scrumptious food Pleasant surroundings and interior of cafe Jam, scones and cream tea Consistently friendly service with a smile and conversation The Old Bakery Tearooms, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Midlands Relaxed inside for a wonderful experience Tom Slough - Losing Tom, Finding Grace Welcoming and experienced staff The Old Bakery Tearooms Sign

In October 1999, Alan and I were invited onto an Alpha course, to find out more about Christianity and Jesus. We were then able to make an informed decision to ask Jesus into our hearts and lives and to start a living relationship with Him, and through Jesus, come to understand that God is our heavenly Father who loves each and every one of us unconditionally.

God is able to do this, because Jesus took the blame for everything that we have done wrong in our lives and our sins were nailed with him on the cross. Because we asked Jesus to come into our lives and asked his forgiveness for not acknowledging him and not living in a 'right' way, we now have access to everything that God wants to teach us and the certainty that we will share eternity with Him.

In 2000, both our sons, James first and then Tom, made their own commitments to following Jesus, as they saw how our personalities were changing and that we were becoming 'nicer people'. We were all baptised in that year - again our own decisions and in obedience to Jesus who said 'go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And be sure of this; I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' (Mathew 28, 19-20)

For the next four years our lives were uneventful, the boys did well at school and we lived a normal if not busy life. We each grew in our faith in different ways and we were all involved with different aspects of church membership. Life was good.

On Friday 30th January 2004 life stopped being so good. Tom took his own life, aged 16, by hanging himself in his bedroom. I found him, Alan tried to save him, but it was too late. No one had any idea of how he felt, but we are blessed that he was able to tell us through different things that he wrote - he was a very gifted and articulate writer - why he did what he did. It does not make it right, but it helps us to understand.

The one thing that we are certain of is that we shall see him again one day, His faith was very real to him and he was confident of sharing it with his friends, and knew that God loved him no matter what.

Through our grief, we have come to a closer understanding of Gods' amazing love and grace. We have been carried by the love and prayers of many people and the support of our church - Chipping Campden Baptist Church - and over six years on we still miss Tom terribly, but you learn to carry on and take the bad days with the good.

We believe that this Tea Room is where God wants us to be and how He wants us to serve Him - I never wanted anything like this before I became a Christian, but Godput it firmly on my heart. It has taken many years, the death of our youngest son and a lot of soul searching and seeking for us both to realise that this is Gods' plan for us.

What Tom did was wrong. We wish with all our hearts that we could turn the clock back and have him here with us now, but we can't, what happened, happened, and it happened to us - a Christian family. Giving your life to Jesus won't stop heartache or difficulties in your lives, but his love and peace will help you to overcome all things.

If you don't already have a personal relationship with Jesus why not take some time to find out more, maybe through Alpha courses which are run all over the country.

We welcome the opportunity to talk about our experiences on our journey so far, either to individuals or to groups of people by arrangement.

God Bless. Jackie, James and Alan

Find out more on Jackie's Losing Tom, Finding Grace book