Statement of Faith
We believe and trust in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Father is the Creator and Sustainer of everything – of all that we see and all that we don’t see! The perfect Father, who loves all people extravagantly.
Jesus is God’s only Son. He lived on earth 2000 years ago, performed incredible miracles, amazed people with his life-changing teaching about life, hope, forgiveness and the Kingdom of God, and was put to death by religious and political leaders. He then rose from the dead within three days! He continued teaching and eating with people for a few weeks. Then he was taken into Heaven, passing the baton on to his followers to spread his message of the Kingdom: a message of hope, relationship with God, forgiveness from sin and new life. Eternal life is found in Jesus alone – what a gift! He will come back one day, physically, to judge the living and the dead (assuring us that God will not ultimately allow evil, wickedness and injustice to prosper), to set right the things that are wrong with the world and to establish the beautiful Kingdom here in fulness.
The Holy Spirit is the immense power and life of God at work on earth. God speaks to us by the Spirit: the Spirit reveals God’s love to us and fills us with love for God in response. The Spirit teaches us to pray, shows us where we’ve gone wrong and need to change, prompts us towards justice and mercy, fills us with passion for God’s Kingdom, and leads us into greater understanding. The Spirit washes and heals us, renews us, calls us, and equips us for the part we play in building the Kingdom wherever we are.
Being a Christian means responding to Jesus' invitation to enjoy a relationship with God right here, right now, and forever. Whatever we may have done – even if we think God can’t possibly love or accept us – there is forgiveness through Jesus, and God is delighted to welcome us into his family if we choose to accept. God welcomes all, and one day there will be a great celebration with people from every nation, tribe, people and language worshipping God together!
God does not simply want to be a part of our lives, like another hobby or a new friend. God’s desire is for each of us to be a part of his life, members of his Kingdom, transformed by the power of his love. God wants to be involved in every part of our lives, and wants us to use our unique gifts to share his life and love with others, and to help other people to come into relationship with him, through faith. Jesus commissioned his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Following Jesus isn’t an easy journey, but it’s so worth it. Baptism is a way that people express this faith: a sign of being washed clean and being born to new life.
The Bible helps us to grow in faith and better understand God through stories of his actions among his people in history, through great wisdom and beautiful poetry, through prophetic insight, through glimpses of the life and words of Jesus, and through the writings and teachings of some of Jesus’ first followers, the early Church. Reading the Bible (or listening to it) helps us live out our faith, and leads us closer to God. The Holy Spirit can speak to us through the Bible and help us to understand it.
The Church is God’s people, also known as the ‘body of Christ’. This one ‘body’ is made up of many different parts – people from many different backgrounds, people with diverse gifts and interests, people from different segments of society. All who have a living relationship with Jesus are part of the Church. Many groups of people within that one body meet together regularly (as ‘churches’) to celebrate who God is (worship), explore the Bible together, talk to God together (prayer) and encourage each other in the life of faith – and different churches express these things in different ways. Church leaders (ministers, vicars, priests, pastors…) help facilitate this, and help people to grow in faith through different practices and traditions. Everyone has God-given talents, gifts, abilities and calling; in Christian community (or ‘church’) we can support each other to recognise our gifts and use them for the benefit of all.
Communion is a unique and special way that Christians remember Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and message of the Kingdom. In sharing bread and wine, we commemorate Jesus’ last meal with his disciples before his crucifixion, remembering the sacrifice that he made for us: the bread symbolises his body, and the wine symbolises his blood. We eat and drink knowing that it is through Jesus that we know God, and that we ourselves have died to our old life and now live for him.
Prayer is talking with God, and can take many different forms! We can talk to God wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, and in any language. We can talk to God through the words of other people (such as in liturgy or other written-down prayers), or in our own words, in silence, out loud, through music or art or movement, and in so many other ways. Everyone can pray – there is no right or wrong way to talk to God, and God loves it when we do.
We would love to chat with you about this. If something in here stands out to you, or surprises you, or if you’d just like to understand more about any of this, please do get in touch and we’d be delighted to have a conversation about it together.