David Suchet on faith

by Colin Dexter

David found faith when he was 40 years old. Although he and his two brothers had been brought up largely without religion in a family of Lithuanian Jewish heritage, David says he had been “searching for something” all his life.

“I was a typical teen growing up in the 1960s, when everybody was into gurus and meditation,” explains David. He says he then just “forgot about it” until he was making the movie Harry And The Hendersons in the US in 1986.

In the unlikely setting of a bathtub in a hotel room in Seattle, Washington, David’s search for religion began anew.

“I was in the bath, thinking about my late grandfather, with whom I had an extraordinarily close relationship,” says David, referring to his maternal grandfather, famous Fleet Street photographer Jimmy Jarche, who died in 1965 when David was 18.

“I always felt that he was with me as my spiritual guide. I felt him sitting on my shoulder. Then I thought to myself, ‘Why do I believe that and not believe in life after death?’ That got me thinking about the most famous person who they say had a life after death, Jesus.”

It led David to the New Testament of the Bible, and to Paul.

“I chose it because I knew that somebody called Paul actually existed, I knew that he wrote letters, and that they are there for everyone to see,” he added.

David read Paul’s epistle, which says that salvation is offered through faith in Jesus Christ, and had a “road to Damascus” moment when Paul’s words chimed with him.

“By the end of the letter, certainly by the end of the book, I was reading about a way of being and a way of life that I had been looking for all those years,” explains David.

Saint Paul made it clear that faith is no easy state to obtain. “When I read his letters, I saw that we both struggle with faith – it’s not an easy road no matter what religion you are,” he adds.

David joined the Church of England, but attends Christian churches of all denominations, depending on his location. He didn’t get confirmed in the church, though, until three years ago.

“Although I’m a very emotional man, I just can’t have blind faith, I have to find out for myself,” explains David. “It took me that long to say, ‘I fully commit’.”

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