Our strapline, Pilgrims on a journey, summarises our vision as a parish. Within the parish a distinctive theology is emerging. A deepening of our inner life is energising a greater commitment, particularly to those in need, both locally and in the wider world. This is sharply focused in our repeated theme, Beyond Ourselves. If we live for ourselves alone, we will die to all that is most important. We aspire to go deeper and wider.
We want to be radical in demonstrating that the root of all we seek to be, and do, is found in the love of God. God knows no boundaries; he is present everywhere and is made known in the gift of loving wherever love is seen. At the heart of our spiritual life is the Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion) in which we follow Jesus’ command to do as he did on the night before he died. We break and eat bread and offer and drink wine in remembrance of and participation in the great mystery of our faith, which is that God outpoured himself in Jesus to become one with us in order that we might become one with him. We respond with praise and thanksgiving. We seek to live out this great mystery in a rhythm of self-giving love, joy and praise.
We thank God for creation in all its beauty and diversity. We share God’s joy at our wonderful world. We see God’s love imprinted in creation, we recognise our fellow creatures as siblings and we seek to protect and celebrate them and the earth itself, our God-given home. We know that living thankfully in harmony with creation will involve imaginative, changed thinking and living and sacrifices on our part.
We hope to be a community that embodies God’s outrageous generosity and unconditional love. Hospitality in every sense, generous and freely given, is key to how we envisage our future. Our worshipping congregations are being challenged to move from being guests to becoming hosts. We want many more people to catch this vision, be inspired by it and contribute to making it come about. In short, we need you. And we believe that we have something we can offer you. Fullness of life, in this life, is really possible and is supremely revealed in Jesus.
God’s love is boundless and is to be shared with all. We want everyone to feel at home here – and we ask that in response people have open minds and hearts. Our churches are known for having ‘soft edges’; we reject exclusivity and making distinctions between who belongs and who doesn’t.
We know how hard it can be to have faith, but the quest for meaning is at the heart of our humanity. We are not afraid of questions. Jesus asked many questions! We know that certainty is rarely possible and can be the enemy of faith. What is developing here is urgently needed by our world. We are convinced that the future needs to be different, and that it is possible to buck the trends towards either secularism or rigid belief.