What we believe
Our beliefs are revealed in the Bible. They are summarised in the 39 Articles of Religion, and worked out in the principles and theology of the Book of Common Prayer.
We are evangelical, which means we are Christian and give ultimate authority to the Bible as God’s Word, desiring to maintain a Reformed and Protestant character in the expression of our beliefs. From the time of the Apostles, Christians have laid out doctrines of truth. They are definitive statements set forth in a concise fashion as guided by scripture and enable us to guard one another from error and show our unity in Christ.
What we believe about God
We believe that there is one unique and eternal God, who exists in an everlasting, loving relationship of Father, Son and Spirit—one God in three persons. God is sovereign in all things, including creation, revelation, redemption, judgement and the establishing of his kingdom. As sovereign, loving creator and redeemer, he is worthy of all glory, honour and praise.
What we believe about humanity
We believe men and women together are created in the image of God, and therefore enjoy a unique dignity in creation and a unique relationship with God. Men and women together have dominion over the created order. Tragically, human nature is universally sinful since the fall and everyone is guilty before God. This leaves us under the wrath and condemnation of God. We are unable, without the prior regenerative work of God’s Spirit, to turn ourselves to God.
What we believe about the Bible
We believe there is no other way to know God except that he reveals himself to us. The Bible is God’s revelation to us. The words of the Bible are divinely inspired and infallible, as originally given, and have supreme authority in all matters of faith, conduct and experience. The Bible is sufficient for knowing God. It is not only central to the wellbeing of the church but is able to thoroughly equip the Christian community for life and godliness.
What we believe about Jesus Christ
We believe Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He is both fully God and truly human. He entered fully into human experience. He endured temptation and he suffered and died. He was perfectly obedient to God his Father. Jesus took on himself the consequences of human sin. He died and was buried. On the third day he rose from the dead bodily. He ascended to the right hand of God the Father and is now exalted as ruler over all. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
What we believe about salvation
We believe that there is only one name under heaven by which people can be brought into relationship with God: the name ‘Jesus Christ’. It is only through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, that the guilt, penalty and power of sin can be removed. In that death, God demonstrates his love to us most perfectly and establishes his victory over Satan and all his foes. The work of the Holy Spirit is necessary to make the death of Jesus effective in an individual’s life. This work is only applied to those ‘appointed to eternal life’ by the Father; an appointment that occurred before the creation of the world and not based on foreseen virtue, merit or faith in those appointed. The Spirit irresistibly enables the sinner to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ, and persevere in that faith, so that salvation is entirely of God’s grace and not of human merit or works.
Although we enjoy now the blessing of union with Christ and secure relationship with God, we await the final consummation of our hope with the return of Christ, the resurrection of our bodies and life with him eternally. God has destined that there be only one people of God (Jew and Gentile) united by faith in Jesus for all time.
What we believe about the Spirit in the believer’s life
We believe the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son, and indwells all true believers. His role is to bring glory to Jesus Christ, thus making Jesus Christ central in all things. The Spirit works to illuminate believers’ minds to grasp the truth of the Bible, producing in them his fruit, granting them his gifts and empowering them for service. He grants his gifts for the purpose of service, not self-indulgence. Their use is determined—not by personal desire for fulfilment or satisfaction—but by the principle of building the church. Not every gift of the Spirit is given to the church at every moment of its life, only those necessary for building Christ’s body.
What we believe about church
The visible church is the gathering of believers around Christ in his word. The people of God who gather are intended by God to bear witness to him and actively seek the extension of his rule. Within its community both men and women are to seek proper expression of their gifts as they work to build the church in love. The Bible makes clear that in church as in marriage, the roles of men and women are not interchangeable. We are committed to expressing the differences within relationships of mutual dependence.
What we believe about marriage
We believe marriage is an institution which God set up from the beginning of creation and that it is the joining of a man and a woman in a lifelong covenantal commitment to one another, which forms a new family unit. Marriage is a demonstration of the gospel, as it symbolises God’s unending love for his people and the union between Christ and his Church. Marriage should be honoured by all. Marriage is a gift for the wellbeing of humanity and it is within a marriage relationship that sexual union should be enjoyed. An established marriage is the best place for the upbringing of children so that they may be loved, nurtured and instructed for their benefit and that of society.
This means that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. That a husband should love his wife as Christ loved his church and that a wife should love her husband as the church is called to love Christ. Marriage should not be entered into lightly or carelessly. Marriage should be a lifelong commitment and divorce is the exception. Sexual relationships outside of a marriage relationship are wrong. Within Marriage, couples should be encouraged and supported in their role as parents.