What we believe
We take the Bible to be God’s infallible and inerrant revelation, and therefore it is our supreme authority.
Along with Christians around the world, we believe “The Apostles’ Creed” is a faithful summary of what the Bible teaches.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen
We are also a Reformed church, coming out of the Protestant reformation in the 16th Century.
As such, and along with many other Presbyterian churches, we hold to the Westminster Confession (along with the Larger and Shorter catechism) as a subordinate standard (subordinate to the Bible).
It is called "Westminster" because it was created by the elders of the church in Westminster, London during several years from 1627 to about 1650 and was passed into law by the British parliament during the Commonwealth (or interregnum). One of our church members, John Barrs, has updated the Westminster Documents into modern English. You can find these versions here.
Here is an attempt to summarise what Christians believe in non technical language using the ‘Apostles Creed’ (above) as a rough framework
God created everything that exists. He made men and women to love and to serve him and to love and to serve each other and to look after the creation. Each human is created to be eternal. We all fail the world, we all fail each other and most of all we fail to meet God’s standards and he is rightly offended by our deliberate rejection of him and his desires for our wellbeing. These failures are what sin is.
Because we can do nothing to make amends for our own failures God prepared a solution. The penalties due to us because of our failures were to be taken by someone else. The failure of a human requires a human to pay the penalty. The number of failures of each one of us and the number of humans effectively requires an infinity of payments. God sent his own son to become a man and pay the penalty.
Because his son is also God then the one payment is sufficient for all the failures of all humanity through all of time.
Jesus came into the world, into our history, as a baby, born to Mary and grew up as we all do except that he never did displease God. He was crucified by the Roman Governor of Judea and died a painful death. He rose again from the dead and went back to heaven to be with his Father.
He will come again to this earth at the end of time as the supreme judge of all.
Jesus’ death has paid the penalty that our failures deserve and as we confess our failures and rely on that fact then we may try to serve and to love God and to serve and love each other and look after the world just as we were originally created. This is still impossible without help so God has provided help for us in our day-to-day lives. The main helper is the Holy Spirit.
This help also consists of other people who have also accepted Jesus death for themselves – the household of faith; for God has called us into the church to work together as part of the family of God. The final result of Jesus’ death for us is that the fact of death is overturned. God has promised that we will also be resurrected and will live eternally – as we were originally created to be.