The Baptist denomination is Christian and has been around for over 400 years. Baptists have a primary concern for religions freedom, freedom of conscious, Believer’s Baptism and the centrality of the church meeting as a means for discerning the mind of Christ and the direction of church life.
Whilst as an autonomous Baptist Church we do not adopt any creedal statement of belief, within the wider scope of the world-wide Christian Church, churches of the Baptist Union tradition in England hold to three main principles:
(1) The first principle defines where we believe authority lies:
“That our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each church has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.”
For Baptist Christians there is no greater authority than Jesus. Seeking his will for us and being obedient to his calling and his authority is exercised by the members of the local church gathering together at church meetings, to discern the will of God in all matters of church life.
(2) The second principle is a commitment to only baptising those who accept faith for themselves:
“That Christian Baptism is by immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, of those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried, and rose again on the third day.”
This means that we do not believe that religion can be imposed on anyone, and so we uphold religious tolerance and freedom of religion for all. We are an open membership church and welcome into membership of our community any Christian, even if their understanding of baptism is different to our own.
(3) The third principle is all about Mission:
“That it is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.”
The Gospel is the news of God’s love for all creation and every member of a Baptist church is committed to making that love known, in words and, more importantly in deeds, through friendship and service to others.
Responsibilities of church membership: The following responsibilities are what we would normally expect of someone seeking membership of this church:
- living a life which is worthy of the name ‘Christian’. This means ‘following the way of Jesus’
- setting time apart regularly for prayer and Bible study as aids to seeking God’s will. The church provides opportunities to share these experiences
- being present whenever possible with one’s fellow church members for worship on the Lord’s Day and other occasions of public worship
- sharing in the church’s ministry of intercession for the world. Regular interest and financial support for the work of the wider Church. Giving to BUGB Home Mission, BMS World Mission, Christian Aid, Bethany and Amnesty International, us especially encouraged
- contributing to the sense of loyal and loving fellowship within the life of the church.
- taking on tasks within the life of the church according to one’s own gifts and opportunities that may arise
- being present at Church Meetings
- prayerfully setting aside a proportion of one’s income for the work of the church and the maintenance of the ministry
- by personal invitation, hospitality and visiting, introducing others to faith in Christ and the life of the church
- witnessing to one’s own faith in Christ by word and action, helping to spread the Good News, and maintaining the cause of religious freedom
NOTE: You do not need to be a member to be a part of all of the events and activities of our church!