Matt was a full-time primary school teacher until he started Fruitful Oaks in the autumn of 2007. He worked as a teacher part-time until Christmas 2009, but now works full time on Fruitful Oaks while his wife is on a career break. Matt loves football and is hoping to see Nottingham Forest and England do well in his lifetime, and doesn’t have much spare time as he has three small children!

Matt's story, in his own words:

Before I became a Christian at 22 I was a fairly normal guy and brought up in a nice home. My parents went to church and so did I, but during my teenage years I found church boring and drifted away. Christianity didn't really mean anything to me and it didn't affect my life.

However, while I was at uni and supposed to be "having the time of my life" I didn't feel content. I began thinking there must be more to life than this — and when I finished uni I started looking into Christianity properly.

I realised that this religion I'd known about had to be either false or true. If it were False I could do whatever I liked with my life and didn't need to worry about Christian morals or ideas. But if it were actually True (and so therefore true for me!) it needed to be at the centre of my life.

I looked into the claims of Christianity and asked loads of questions, especially: is Jesus who he claimed to be? And was he killed and did he really rise again?

Looking at the evidence I was convinced that it was true! What really struck home to me was a verse in the Bible (Romans 5 v8) which says:

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us."

This made me realise two simple but life-changing things: I was a sinner; and Jesus died for me.

And so I realised my need and accepted Jesus' offer of eternal life. And the great news is that this is an offer that is open to everyone!

Since becoming a Christian the aims and goals of my life have changed. I've put my aims to one side and live for God and his purposes for my life. And that's where Fruitful Oaks comes into this story. I've quit my secure teaching job to follow God's calling on my life, trusting in Him and stepping out in faith.

I now know that there is so much more to life than I previously had, and having Jesus at the centre lets you live life as you were designed to by the creator. I now have real purpose, joy and hope that aren't dependent on circumstances, but come from my relationship with God.