FRIDAY night in Dinnington and a youth club is busy with youngsters playing pool, chatting and laughing.
Nothing unusual in that - except for the fact that these young people are all Christians who talk openly of having been saved by Jesus.
The club is held at the New Life Church, on Silverdales, and attracts a large crowd every week.
It is run by Scott Pell, an ex-drug addict, who says his own life was turned around when a chance meeting with a stranger led to him visiting the church.
Scott, 50, of Carlton, who runs a garage, said: “A man came into our garage and I let him have the keys to test drive a car on his own. He remarked on how trusting I was and I said I’d noticed the fish badge on his lapel so I knew he was a Christian.”
“He joked that he was actually a fish salesman from Grimsby and we got talking and it turned out he was the pastor at the New Life Church in Dinnington and he invited me to go along.”
“I went that Sunday and really enjoyed it and then I went again. The third time I went there was a lady who got up to sing and I felt the presence of God in that room. Since that day my life has changed beyond all recognition.”
Scott has been off drink and drugs for more than seven years and says he doesn’t want the young people of Dinnington to go down the same path he did.
He started taking drugs and drinking heavily at the age of 18 and, as his life began to spiral out of control, he got involved in crime and ended up in prison for supplying a stolen JCB.
He begins the youth club session with ten minutes of prayer when he says the youngsters are ‘quiet as mice’.
“I talk to them in ways they can understand, like we talked about good and evil, and we have discussions about different issues, like creation and evolution. We look at the evidence and they are free to ask questions and to make up their own minds, no one is being indoctrinated.”
Vicky Gee, 22, of High Nook, who teaches art and photography to people with autism in Sheffield, is a regular at the church.
She said: “When I first came here I felt like I had come home.”
“Everybody is just amazing and lovely and so inspiring. I gave my life to Jesus and was baptised and my faith has got stronger and stronger. I feel amazing, absolutely brilliant.”
Richard Pemberton, 19, of High Nook, works in a warehouse and said he goes to the church every day.
“It’s good to be saved and baptised, it’s changed my life,” he said.
Sam Galfskiy has been going to the church for three years and said that while some people laugh at him, his friends are supportive and happy for him.
The 21-year-old, of High Nook Road, who is studying maths at college, said: “God spoke to me one day when I was outside my sister’s house and I decided to go to church. I love it here and I’ve been baptised, it’s made a difference to me.”
A bible study group for young people is held on a Monday at the church and Scott said that they also had a football team which plays at Dinnington Comp and competes against other Christian youth teams.
“We don’t win many games but we have fun,” he said.
He has been involved with the church for seven years and said his life has been blessed by God. “I have a beautiful wife Sittha, who I met through the church. My life has changed beyond all recognition, I’m very lucky.”
Scott and Sittha also run a kids club for five to 11-year-olds on Saturday afternoons from noon to 4pm.
The new pastor of the church is Kingsley Jones, who said they are hoping to set up more community groups, such as mums and toddlers.
The Friday night youth club runs from 6.15-7.15pm and anyone is welcome to just turn up or call 07813 491197.