What We Believe
We are committed together in fellowship to uphold, defend and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the doctrine of the Church of England.
We affirm the definition of this doctrine that is set out in Canon A5 as follows: The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the 39 Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.
THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
In this passage from Acts 2 Peter has just given his first sermon all about Jesus, and 3000 people accepted the message and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. And now Luke goes on from vs. 42 to explain just what that church did.
We believe that within these verses there are at least 5 marks or outputs mentioned here that define the gathering of God’s people and that describe what we are about as church and what should mark out every church of every age and culture.
The church of God is to be devoted to:
Teaching of God’s Word. (42)
Social concern. (44-45)
These 5 marks are closely aligned to the Anglican Communion’s 5 Marks of Mission
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
What these 5 marks may look like in different cultures and situations will vary. How these marks are implemented will change as culture and situations change.
We’ve summarised our mission in the strapline:
To know Jesus Christ; and to make Christ known.
THE VISION OF THE CHURCH
Our vision serves our mission by looking ahead into our context and asking: What do we believe God wants our church to look like in 3/5 years and therefore what do we need to focus on now in order to get there?
The following 4 statements summarise in priority order our vision statement drawn from PCC and congregation consultation.
We believe God wants our church family in 3/5 years:
To be a growing, vibrant, worshipping community in which all people are welcomed, God’s Word is faithfully taught and Christians are discipled in their faith for works of service.
To be outward looking and connected to the community through deliberate evangelism and social action.
To reach out to the many families in our community and offer a vibrant active youth/children’s ministry.
To have a vibrant church family in AS, working in partnership with HT in reaching and serving the town centre community.