What is a testimony?

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15) The word testimony is jargon for the story of how someone became a Christian. I couldn't think of any more modern word. If I used stories, someone might be expecting short stories or something. But true stories are interesting too - so here are a few. What I want to do on this page is include some testimonies from Tipperary Christian Fellowship and also some other testimonies from around the Web about people from Tipperary or who are associated with County Tipperary. There are Tipperary people all over the world. I know of one man from Tipperary town who's a Christian minister in California. There are also people from other parts of the world who have settled down in Tipperary town. So, without further ado here are a few.


"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1)
My name is Patrick Hogan born and reared in Tipperary town - actually, I grew up on a small farm outside the town, one of a family of ten. Like most others, I'm from a Roman Catholic background. I had a great hunger for God even as a very young person. I never doubted the existance of God. Having grown up on a farm, as I looked at nature, God was a reality to me. There was no other explanation for the world and for my life. My hunger for God led me to try and listen to a radio station called AFM American Forces Network. On that station, there was a preacher of the Word of God. His name was Billy Graham. I liked his message - well, from what I could hear of it. Then, my dad caught me listening one evening and he 'hauled me over the coals' and told me I couldnt listen to him so I stopped. But the hunger was still there. One of my greatest problems with what I was taught as a child was the confessional. Every confession I went to, I came out with one question hanging over it. "How do I know that my sins are forgiven?"


I was brought up a Roman Catholic and this was all OK until I made my Confirmation in 1973. The teacher read the gospels and I started being really impressed with this and not very impressed with the rest of my religion. As well as some problems I had with the doctrines, I had a problem with the fact that neither I, nor anyone else in my peer group displayed any interest in religion. We admired people who could give someone a good hiding (beating). So no-one, except little old ladies with rosary beads, seemed interested in religion. We all went to Mass. At that time, it was a mortal sin not to - maybe it still is. There was the Catholic charismatic movement but that always reminded me of Up with People - Remember them? - Happy clappy people from all around the world singing about how wonderful everything was. I think the Simpsons did a version of them - "Hooray for everything". Not for me.


I was born in the East End of London six years before the outbreak of World War II, living in a Council flat and eldest of four children. At the outbreak of war my mother and us children were evacuated to Norfolk whilst my father stayed in London in the National Fire Service. The war years were disruptive to our family life generally and our education suffered and although we were not to experience the bombing that took place in London, we lost some relatives and friends and our home was destroyed. After the war we were re-housed by the Council and we picked up the threads of life as a family. I left school at 15 and was employed as a shorthand typist in the city of London, my first week's wages being five shillings more than my father was earning in the furniture trade! I took up various hobbies; swimming, dancing, cycling and at 21 met the man who was to become my husband. I had never any interest in God and decided early on that religion was for weak people or more imaginative people! My parents never spoke of religion and I believed, like most of my friends and relatives that you handled life the best way you could, relying on your own strengths and abilities.