In June 2013, Revd Neville Simpson and Deacon Ian Cartwright wrote a letter to members of the church family introducing and explaining the context of our Statement of Faith which had been approved by Church Council in February 2013. Each letter was accompanied by a copy of the Statement of Faith and a copy of “A Catechism for the use of the people called Methodists” (Methodist Publishing House; 2000). The text of that letter is reproduced below, followed by the statement of Faith itself.
A group commissioned by Church Council is currently working on a document (to which Neville and Ian refer in their letter) which articulates our values as a Christian community, founded on the beliefs of our Statement of Faith, which will underpin our strategy for mission to be ambassadors for Christ in Copmanthorpe.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
There are times in life when we struggle in our walk of faith. All sorts of life events and personal challenges can throw us off course if we are not careful. We need something to ‘hold us fast’. Equally as a church it is really important that our worship, service, mission and fellowship is founded on sound biblical principles if we are to faithfully serve God in this place and seek to grow in the kingdom.
Over two years ago Church Council established a group to look at producing a ‘Statement of Faith’ stating what WE believe as a Church. This has been a journey of learning and exploration for all involved and has resulted in the production of a Statement of Faith that has now been approved by Church Council and given to you.
The report of the group to Church Council said:
Whilst working with the goal of producing something which builds and strengthens the life of the church, helping it to grow both numerically and in depth of spiritual understanding, the group has constantly been mindful of the potential for a Statement of Faith to be (or to be perceived as) divisive and exclusive. The group would therefore like to make explicit that everyone is welcome at Copmanthorpe Methodist Church, whether they agree with every word of the Statement of Faith or with none of it. It is an aid to help people work through their faith and spirituality, not a document to divide the church family or to exclude people who have questions or doubts.
The Statement of Faith is a foundation stone on which can be built teaching in church services and study in home groups, and which can be used in corporate worship. It is a platform from which a clear articulation of our values as a Christian community can be developed and which can act as a road map for mission. We also enclose a copy of ‘A Catechism for the uses of the People called Methodists’ for each family that is also helpful and shows that our Statement of Faith is rooted in scripture, the existing Christian Creeds and Methodism.
We commend the Statement of Faith to you. We embark on an exciting journey drawing from the ‘Living Water’ and seeking through our values and actions to allow the kingdom of God to grow in us and through us in Copmanthorpe.
Yours in Christ Jesus
Deacon Ian Cartwright
Revd Neville Simpson
Copmanthorpe Methodist Church Statement of Faith
- We believe in one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, creator of everything.
- We believe that God created human beings in His image, in perfect relationship with Him.
- We believe that humanity’s disobedience of God destroys our perfect relationship with Him.
- We believe that God loves us so much that He sent His son Jesus Christ
who was born of the Virgin Mary; who was fully God and fully human;
who lived entirely without sin; who, for us, suffered and was crucified, died and was buried in order to rise again and ascend into heaven.
- We believe that the relationship between God and ourselves is restored by God when we personally respond in repentance and faith to what Jesus Christ has done.
- We believe that it is the person of God the Holy Spirit living within us who empowers us to live a Christ-centred life.
- We believe that the Bible is divinely inspired; the record of God’s self-revelation, supremely in Jesus Christ, through which He still reveals Himself, by the Holy Spirit; the authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- We believe that the church is the body of Christ, of which He is the Head.
- We believe that this Church exists to worship, serve and witness that Jesus Christ is Lord.
- We believe that Jesus will return at a time known only to God, to judge all human beings, those living and those who have died, completing God’s plan of salvation, renewing His creation and establishing His reign of love for ever.