What we believe

What is Christianity?

Christians take their name from a title given to Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish teacher and healer who was condemned to death by crucifixion by the Romans around the year 30 AD. Either before his death or shortly after it, Jesus was hailed by his followers as the Messiah, the one chosen by God to inaugurate a new kind of relationship between God and humankind. The Greek word for ‘Messiah’ is ‘Christ’.

 

Christians realized that in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus were revealed something uniquely significant about the God in whom they believe. They further believe that Jesus is the son of God and in following Jesus it is possible to come into a living, loving relationship with God.

 

What Christians Do.

Jesus taught his followers that the most important principles are to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself. From these follow a particular way of life that emphasises respect and tolerance for others, and that urges the active helping of those in any kind of need .From it also comes that there is an active power beyond ourselves of which we can come to know something through prayer and worship. Worship means acknowledging the reality of God and offering to God our thanks, our adoration, and our praise.

 

Christian worship often centres on the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, in which the bread and wine are blessed by a church leader, and distributed amongst church members. This is symbolic remembrance of the last supper which Jesus ate with his closest friends, on the night before he died.

 

The Word.

 

Christians recognise the Bible as of particular importance in helping them live their lives. The Bible is a collection of writings, written over a period of nearly a millennium, and comprises the Old Testament – the writings which are common to Christians and Jews – and the New Testament, which contains stories about Jesus ( in the four books called the Gospels) and reflections on his life and its meaning by some of his earliest followers. Christians vary in their approaches to the Bible, but all acknowledge its central importance to their faith.

 

The Sacrament.

We believe in the Word and the Blessed Sacrament as the basis of our worship. This is why Holy Communion instituted by Jesus himself is the main service.

 

 

 

The Church.

 

Their emphasis on social action means that Christians have, from earliest times, met together regularly to support each other and to make their joint action on behalf of others more effective. These gatherings were called churches. In due course buildings were set up for such gatherings to take place in, and the name ‘ church’ came to be used for these buildings.

 

A church building is often decorated, using paintings, stained glass, and sculpture, to remind people of the events in the life of Christ and in the lives of his earliest followers, and to help them in their worship. In addition, Christian worship often uses music, which is why many church communities organise choirs to lead them in worship.

 

Our Parish Churches are beautiful buildings but ‘the Church’ is the people.