About the blogger…

About the bloggerIMG_2156
My name is Neil Robbie, I serve as a Christian minister in the town of West Bromwich, England. I was drawn to Christ in my mid-twenties under the ministry of William Still in Aberdeen, Scotland. Up to that point I held a strong secular-atheist view of life and the world. I was troubled, however, by the thought of my own mortality and the ultimate death of the sun which renders life on earth futile. At that time I concluded that life was about achieving my potential and having fun but I found this purpose really unsatisfying.

18 months after coming to faith in Christ I married Amanda. We lived in Cambridge, where we attended the Round church at St Andrew the Great (StAG). In 1997 we moved to Kuala Lumpur and then Singapore where I worked as a structural engineer for almost six years. In 2002, after 12 years in industry, I left my job to train for what I do now at Oak Hill College, London. The church where I am vicar, Holy Trinity, is in a multi-cultural parish where many people in the area are South Asian. Prior to starting here in March 2009 I was curate at St Luke’s, Wolverhampton.

About the blog
When I first turned to Christ I experienced God’s adoration for me because of Christ’s death on the cross for my sin. This focus on Christ crucified shifted during my time in the Far East and became mixed with a focus on what I did, said and thought. I knew that these things were unacceptable to God and so I felt constantly unacceptable to him. It was only during 2006 and 2007 that my grasp of acceptance by grace through faith in Christ on the cross, especially what it means to be counted as righteous, began to be renewed and with it came a transformation of my Christian life and view of ministry. Transforming grace is a blog about the difference the cross of Christ makes personally, to church and to inner city ministry.

38 Responses to About the blogger…

  1. Jon Wong says:

    Hi Neil! Great to hear from you on our blog… I have thought of you and Amanda, and Ish from time to time, wondering how you’re all getting on. Drop me a line to let me know.


  2. John Blanksby says:

    Hi Neil,

    Managed to track you down via the web. How’s it all going. Looks like you’ve landed on your feet in the Midlands. How’s the family – is it 3 sprogs now?

    We’re knee deep in bairns (Reuben – 6, Ariel -4, Noah – 3, Isaac – 1)… all boys as you can see, so kept pretty much on our toes. Still in the oil patch working with BP now (after 5 yr stint with Shell). It’s just down the road from Newmachar which makes sense from a family dynamics view point. Drop me a line or give me a bell when you a chance.

    Cheers – John

  3. Barry & Madeline Page says:

    Hi Neil, Amanda and children.
    Just a little note to say a BIG welcome to Holy Trinity, it was nice to drop-in to your open house this afternoon, and also nice to see it heaving with a lot of HT members.
    We look forward to growing together in our Lord with you and everyone at HT now that your ministry has truly begun.
    God Bless you, Amanda and kids.

  4. Andy Mason says:

    Hi Neil

    Hope you’re good. Good to see you a while ago but we never really did get to chat. I looked out for you at the recent Reaching the Unreached conference on council estates – but didn’t see you. It’d be good to keep in touch…..

    • neilrobbie says:

      Hi Andy, welcome to TG. I couldn’t make it to Reaching the Unreached, it was too close to my induction here at Holy Trinity. I hope you are well and I look forward to keeping in touch and hearing how things are going. Neil

  5. Debbie Thomas says:

    Hi Neil, Amanda & family and Polly & baby

    Thank you for your kind invitation to lunch today. Well really the invite was for my mum and dad Delphi & Cyril and then extended to me as I was planning to have lunch with them today. I had a wonderful time on the trampoline with the Queen she is much fitter than me but I did manage to jump & bounce! We had a lovely tour of your garden by Neil in the beautiful sunshine. The food was wonderful (thanks Amanda) and the fellowship too. I didn’t even have to wash up which was great for me. Delphi & Cyril also send their thanks and best wishes.

    Love Debbie

  6. neilrobbie says:

    Hi Debbie

    It was lovely to see you all and to enjoy your company, fellowship and concern for the gospel to be made more widely known. See you soon.

    With love


  7. Nice blog. I wandered over here from a blog link to one of your old “Knowing God” posts. Keep up the good work!

  8. Marcus Khoo says:

    Hey Neil! Marcus here from Emmanuel EFC, KL. How are things with you and the family?

    I accidentally discovered your blog (long story for another day), but I’d just want to say that I find your posts refreshing, yet reminding (if that even makes sense!).

    Anyway, keep writing! I’m looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.


    • neilrobbie says:

      Hi Marcus, great to hear from you. Thanks for the encouragement. You might already know that I am involved in leading and teaching on a theology course in Birmingham and Hon Chein is in my small group! It’s really great to still be in touch with you and others from EFC.

      Your bro


  9. Erik says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog Neil and I must say I appreciate the Christ-centered focus you’ve got here. Way to redeem the blogosphere for the glory of God and the benefit of his church. Keep up the insightful, thought-provoking posts brother!

  10. vicki says:

    googled w e sangster and got this refreshing link. God bless you and yours, stay real!

  11. andrew kenny says:

    Hi Neil. I like the title of your blog and also your comments about William Still who is a personal hero of mine! He helped me in particular during the 1970’s -1980’s when he was able to minister God’s grace both through his teaching and personal counsel. I have the three volumes of his works in ‘pride of place’ as you enter my house. I have also tried to get his publishers to put online, free of charge, his insightful book ‘towards spiritual maturity’. THis is a most important book and offering it free would be very much in the spirit of the great man. Peace and GRace.

    • neilrobbie says:

      Hello Andrew and welcome to TG. I’ve got the same three volumes, which I think come to life when the reader can “hear” Mr Still preaching through the text. I’ve also got “The Work of the Pastor” which has one of my favourite lines of all…”he must feed the sheep.” Go well and thanks for your encouragement. Neil

  12. Klaire says:


    It is encouraging to here that it is possible to live a strong Christian life and be Dyslexic. I had struggled with this after a contact with an extremist church in America told me because I hadn’t been “Cured” of Dyslexia I wasn’t a proper Christian and it had upset me.

    cheers for some amazing insight


    • neilrobbie says:

      Hi Klaire, I’m glad my post helped. I know quite a few dyslexics who are Christian believers, pastors and evangelists. It’s a gift as well as a burden. Did you read all my posts on dyslexia in Christian life and ministry? There’s about four. Just type “dyslexia” into the search box in the sidebar. Neil

  13. You’re blogging at a top-notch level Neil!! Really enjoying it, thought provoking drops of cultural observations that help me understand the world we live in.

  14. neilrobbie says:

    Kind of you to say so Nathan. Are you writing from self imposed exile?

    • Spending a few months in Rada’s hometown in Montenegro working (preaching, pastoral support, evangelism etc.) in a small church while their pastor is on furlough in the US. Will be back at the YMCA by the end of February.

  15. Hello Neil,
    I have enjoyed your posts and I plan on borrowing the graphic and personalities from Mark 12:28-30. I will cite you of course. We are doing a Lenten study on what those two simple verses mean.
    It is good to chat with another vicar, though I’m sure it means something different in the Anglican church than it does in the Lutheran church. I have enjoyed a few episodes of The Vicar of Dibley so I know what your life is like, right? I am on a year-long internship in upstate New York, USA, studying to be an ordained minister in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). I do appreciate your insights. As far as Chrisitan growth, the well-known Catholic priest, Thomas Merton, said that every good Christian should have atleast 3 great conversions in their lifetime. I am experiencing my second in this ordination process. I spent 18 months in England and do miss it from time to time. Blessings on your ministry!
    Vicar Mark Honstein

  16. Keith Legge, Australia says:

    Thanks Neil for introducing yourself. I am new t the blog, so I apologise if you have covered this previously, but I am wondering how have you found in your teaching ministry the balance between the objective Gospel and the inner work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification? We must ” pursue holiness”, but legalism and bondage can so easily follow. The very phrase “transforming Grace” suggests it is grace that does the changing, so is the object of our “pursuit” what Christ has done ‘outside’ us, so the inner work will follow? Be grateful for your comments.

  17. albert says:

    Just read most of your blogs. Approach is holistic, brief, comprehensive and very much practicable and beneficial to believers. I pray God will empower your ministry, by totally tranforming lives of the faithfuls. Thanks to you and ALLELUIAH to God.

  18. robin claire says:

    I know this sounds like advertising [which is a bad thing I’ve heard] but I must say it anyway since you are a full-bore Christian – like me. You can do as you see fit with it. Delete it at this point now if you wish. Anyway; here it is…..

    I re-wrote the blurb page about who I am and I’d really like you to read it. It’s called “Who Am I?” and it tells more about who I am and a quick synopsis of my life. I would especially like you – as a “I Was Saved from the World” Christian like me – to read it. I believe I was demon possessed before Jesus saved me. I have seen Jesus, as fully in the flesh as one can get – one world to another. There are 2 “Pages” on top that tell the story of how I met Him in 1982. Also there is a page about feeding finches that really deepened my faith in God & Jesus.

  19. robin claire says:

    I just want you to know that I still deal with demons, but they don’t possess me like they did before I was saved. I deal with them, but now I am not at their mercy.

    • neilrobbie says:

      Hi Robin, I am really happy to approve your comments and for others to read your testimony which so clearly sets out the gospel and the way God led you to living faith in Christ through his Word and the Holy Spirit. May God continue to bless you. Neil

  20. Keith Legge says:

    Hallelujah! We need to continually hear the amazing stories of how God invades a life with his Grace and changes and changes. Sometimes we old timers are a bit removed from the very first point where the Gospel became real by the Holy Spirit, but praise Him it never goes stale. Thanks Robin. Keep giving him the glory, keep preaching the Gospel to yourself each day, and you will always know His power. Demons don’t stand a chance before the cross.

  21. Tim Gage says:

    Hi Neil, thanks for the blog. Whole bunch of ordinands in lecture at Ridley using your September breakdown to look at life as a vicar. Yours in Christ

    • neilrobbie says:

      Hi Tim, welcome. Hope they all think I’m trying to do the right things, even if the percentages show the real picture is less than ideal for kingdom growth. October numbers might follow. God bless, Neil

  22. You’re insights are inspiring and much needed in the times we presently find ourselves and those we rapidly approach. Truth and the light that shines from it brings each it touches closer to our Redeemer. Thank you for your work and concern for your brothers and sisters.

  23. Hi Neil

    Thank you for your wonderful work. Great research and insight. Your work is most inspiring.
    God bless you. Keep it up

    Pastor Camelia Joseph
    Houston, TX USA

  24. Tom Lamprecht says:

    Hi Neil,
    Just wanted to let you know I will be integrating some of your questions into our small group bible study on “Living the Cross Centered Life”.
    Thank you for your work.
    Tom Lamprecht
    Greenville, North Carolina

  25. sharen says:

    Hello Neil,
    I enjoyed your article. Though it didn’t answer my question, it gave me some encouragement.

  26. Carol Rivers says:

    Hi from New York. I was looking for chapter outlines for Tripps book instruments in the Redeemers hand, and came to your blog. Had fun spending time w you. Thanks and God Bless. Carol R

  27. Julien says:

    My daughter is dyslexic, so in doing research I found the Bible Project, it its a visual bible presentation. Perhaps it would help add another dimension to your studies.

    Best regards,


  28. Osha says:

    Just want to thank you for writing on remarriage. I am remarried and condemnation and judgment within me brings thoughts of suicide almost daily. Your blog has brought peace to my soul. I want to please the Lord, I hope that I can do that somehow in my life. Thanks for your grace and love filled words. My new wife (we’ve been married for 4 years) , has come to know Jesus through me and is getting baptized this Sunday! The thought of destroying her life by divorcing her breaks my heart. Your words brought life and peace to me. Thanks mate..

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