What we believe

Why do people come to the Priory, week in, week out, worshipping and celebrating, supporting its ministry in the wider community and looking after buildings that are such a significant part of the heritage of the town? Why do they give their time and money to this place and to an institution called the Church of England to which the Priory belongs? Well, if you asked every member of the congregation those questions, you would get a wide spectrum of answers, but they would cluster round two big issues. 

The first is about our place in the world. The Priory is an intergenerational community, it shares values about peace and justice that come from studying and thinking about things that Jesus said, and it does its best to care for its members whilst giving them the opportunity to express freedom of choice and action. The families who come to the Priory can see their children grow among good-hearted people who share some common aims, giving children an opportunity to engage with people of all ages and classes in shared activities. Adults who are elderly and alone also find friendship and solace in the community they share. The choir and bell ringing and holiday club are important parts of this community – not just a community of worship but a place of learning valuable skills and talents. The world is changing and people who can see and respond to social, economic and climate change from the security of a community of belief and common kindness, are stronger and more resilient.

The second is about our place in the eternity of time and the great river of love that flows from lost loved ones into the future of the yet to be born.  Why are we here? Is there meaning? Is there eternal life? These are the great questions that people who come to the Priory are seeking to answer. They do that by trying to state what they believe about the existence and nature of a God in worship, in study and in actions inspired by Jesus and the things he said.  We come for love of the man Jesus, who we believe was the son of God. He gave one commandment to the whole of mankind – “Love one another”. The purpose of the Priory is to understand that command and to put it into action.

We believe that it is our duty as Christians to pass on the unconditional love of God to everyone we meet, who are all cherished children of God.

We’re also an Inclusive Church here at the Priory, which means that we believe that

no one is excluded from God’s love because of their class, sexuality, race, disability, gender, age, etc.,

and that we as a church should reflect that all-encompassing love of God in how we welcome and serve each other. You can find out more about Inclusive Church nationally here or get involved in the local branch of Inclusive Church here.

 

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

 

 

The PCC produced this statement early 2020 in response to some more topical news stories, but it's a good summary of what we think all the time, but sometimes it needs saying explicitly!

 


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