Our Core Values
Saint Chads will strive to be a Christian Community where our faith is Authentic, Bible based and Spirit ﬁlled, Community Focused, going out to make Disciples of all nations and seeking to share God’s grace with Every generation. In more depth this has the following shape:-
Poulton (former Archbishops’ advisor on evangelism) wrote. “The most
effective witness comes from those who embody the things they are
saying. They are their message. Christians need to look like what they
are talking about… What communicates now is personal authenticity.”
1 The Gospel, when it is
really at work in us changes us from the inside out. Christ gives us a
radically new identity, which frees us from both self-righteousness and
self-condemnation. This is the hallmark of true Christianity.
Furthermore, God liberates us to accept people we once excluded, and to
break the bondage of things (even good things) that once drove us. In
particular, the gospel makes us welcoming and respectful and willing to
serve and care for those who do not share our beliefs. This is hard to
measure, but unmistakable when it is present. Authentic Christian living
is perhaps the most important of the core values. So, we will give
ourselves to honest self-evaluation and ‘work out our salvation with
fear and trembling…as God works in us’ (Phi 2:12-13).
‘The unfolding of
your Word gives light’ (Psalm 119:130) and Article 6 of the Church
of England’s 39 articles says ‘Holy Scripture contains all things
necessary for salvation…’ The ‘gospel’ is the good news which
we ﬁnd in God’s Word and is worked out in us by His Spirit. The faithful
[expository] preaching and study of God’s Word is so important. By it we
hear God’s voice today as the Holy Spirit opens the ‘ears of our
hearts’. We must get all of our passion and focus and direction
from prayerful submission to God’s Word. So, we will commit ourselves to
reading it and understanding it more and more and applying it to our lives. As we do this it
will transform us and have an impact on those around us.
ﬁrst priority in social involvement is to be the church, a community
that is welcoming to, and inclusive of, the marginalised.'
spent his time out in the homes of ‘sinners’ and hanging out with the
irreligious. He expected his followers to be like him and to care for,
love and serve everyone regardless of who they were. It is this
transforming love that will transform Handforth. So, we will serve, work
for and love all people in our Community. We also recognise that we are
not alone in this work but will join with other Christians locally to
share the gospel in this way.
‘The church exists by mission
as a ﬁre exists by burning’ (Emil Brunner). The gospel is good news to be shared and not kept just
for ourselves. We are called to share it with our friends who don’t
believe, and see it spread throughout our nation and around the world.
So, we will work at our own mission and evangelism in Handforth. We will
also support, through prayer, ﬁnancial giving and personal involvement,
mission work all over the world.
‘We will tell the next generation’ (Psalm 78:4). We are
facing a revolution in worldviews and ideologies in our country.
Emerging generations think (and behave) so very differently from older generations. Nevertheless, we ﬁrmly believe that the gospel is good news
for every person regardless of age. So, we (regardless of our age) will be highly committed
to sharing the gospel with every age group in our community. If we
were to summarise these core values into a single sentence it would look
something like this: “Our
mission is to lead people to encounter God’s saving grace so that their
lives are transformed by His healing power to experience freedom, joy
and excitement in Jesus Christ and to want to share that grace with
others.” The great theologian
and forward thinking ‘prophet’ for our generation, Leslie Newbiggin,
once said that the local congregation is “the hermeneutic of the
gospel” i.e. if you want to know what Jesus is like look at the
church! So, we are attempting to
live out the gospel of Christ in the context of our local neighbourhood
and, by doing so, to draw others to a personal, living faith. I have a
dream of a Christian community which is ‘alive’, growing and dynamic.
Working together with other churches in Handforth to tell people, and
show people, the wonderful news of Jesus Christ. If by God’s grace we
allow the work of His Spirit in us I know this will happen.
in Integrity; Jonathan Lamb IVP (2006)
2 Total Church Tim Chester and Steve Timmis IVP (2007)