We are an unashamedly ‘evangelical’ church.
This Statement of Beliefs summarises our main beliefs.
- We believe in the one true God who lives eternally in three persons — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each person is fully God and there is one God.
- We believe in the love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
- We believe that God has revealed himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. The Bible was inspired by God through human authors, and as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
- We believe in the dignity of all people, created male and female, in God’s image, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs God’s judgment.
- We believe in the incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and is fully God and fully man, yet without sin.
- We believe in the atoning death of the Lord Jesus. He died on the cross, taking the just punishment we deserve for our sins. All those who willingly turn away from their sins (repentance) and trust Him as their Saviour and Lord, receive God’s forgiveness, become members of God’s family and will be eternally saved.
- We believe in the victorious bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead. He is now exalted in heaven at the right hand of God the Father, representing and sustaining His people.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit, who convicts men and women of sin and the need to be saved. He unites every believer with the Lord Jesus and indwells, teaches, guides and equips all believers for Christ-like living and service.
- We believe that the Church, made up of all true believers, is the body of Christ. The local expression of the church is facilitated by the priesthood of all believers, who are given life by the Holy Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the good news of the gospel.
- We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to churches by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his Church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
- We believe in the personal, visible, glorious return of the Lord Jesus. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. The lost will be eternally condemned and the redeemed will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.
We expect all those who commit to being members of WCC to fully subscribe to the above Statement of Belief.
We also recognise that in some areas there is a diversity of belief and practice between evangelical churches. In addition to the Statement of Belief above, WCC also holds to the following distinctives.
- We baptise believers by immersion, as a public witness and confession of inner personal faith in the Lord Jesus. Whilst baptism is not necessary for salvation (i.e. to make a person a Christian), it is an essential step in a believer’s growth and development, symbolising commitment to, and union with, the risen Christ.
- We participate in the Lord’s Supper (sometimes called ‘the breaking of bread’ or ’communion’) weekly. This time of praise and worship, prayer and biblical reflection, keeps the memory of the Lord Jesus Christ alive in our hearts and minds, as well as encouraging and challenging our faith and commitment to him.
- We describe ourselves as a ‘Bible Church’. By this we mean that we believe in the importance of each Christian being equipped to read, understand and apply the Bible for themselves. In our church meetings and services there is a strong emphasis on systematic, expository teaching of the Bible, as we believe that this is the best way to grow Christians to maturity.
- We believe that churches should be led by a plurality of male leaders. These are called ‘elders’ and give their abilities and time to lead and pastor the church.
- We believe that the Holy Spirit gifts each believer in the Lord Jesus for the mutual benefit of the church. Each member should therefore be committed to personal holiness and serving in the power that the Holy Spirit gives. However, we are a non-Charismatic church in respect of the modern use of gifts relating to words of knowledge, prophecy and tongues.
- Many opportunities exist to serve within the church, for both men and women and we positively encourage everyone to serve as they are able and gifted. We recognise and value the different roles described in the New Testament for men and women in the church. Public worship is led by men, and only appropriately gifted men teach mixed adult groups in the church.
- We believe in the personal, imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take all who believe to be with Him forever, followed by the judgment of an unbelieving world and then the millennial reign of Christ on earth.
Whilst some Christians do not fully subscribe to the above distinctives, we do expect WCC members to publicly and privately respect the church’s position and commitment to these beliefs and practices.