All churches take their inspiration from the life of Jesus and the teaching of his followers, so what makes St Mark’s distinctive?
We celebrate the wonderful diversity of human life, believing that Jesus revealed God’s extraordinary love for all people. We are attracted to the big questions of life and faith and understand that we are called to engage with our world, to challenge the barriers which seem to separate the sacred from the secular or which try to define us according to categories such as gender, sexuality, wealth, race, ability or age. We believe that Jesus came that we might have life in all its fullness (John 10.10) and do what we can to join in with God’s work of transformation and hope, especially where people feel excluded, marginalised or misunderstood within the church as well as in wider society. We are not afraid of being political but we try not to be partisan.
So you are welcome here whether you are exploring Christianity for the first time, have an established pattern of belief or you are wrestling with faith and don’t necessarily identify with any denomination or group.
The Christian faith is one of relationship so to grow in faith means allowing ourselves to be open to deepening our relationship with God and with one another. This happens in many different ways including Sunday or weekday worship, study and personal prayer – but being alongside others is also important. Helping on the Soup Run or with another social action project are important ways of learning what it means in practice to follow Jesus’ teaching to love our neighbour.
Growing in faith is the work of a lifetime and at St Mark’s we understand that each individual’s faith journey is unique. We recognise that people come to church with a range of experiences, joys, sorrows, hopes and disappointments and we know we have much to learn from one another. We aim to offer opportunities for exploring faith which allow plenty of space for questions and discussion and this extends to include our liturgies and music choices for worship. These are prepared with care, retaining the form of Anglican liturgy but also weaving in contemporary and creative expressions of prayer.
We seek to help people explore a living, thinking, loving faith by
- addressing the learning needs of the whole range of life stages and faith journeys through a diverse range of learning opportunities using the full variety of preferred learning styles
- increasingly opening ourselves to God and the work of God in us and being able to question and discover for ourselves the significance of Jesus Christ
- accessing the riches of scripture, the Christian tradition, reason and experience and interrogating God-language
- being equipped to understand how faith and life interact both personally and in the wider community, and having the resources to act on this and to articulate and develop language for expressing our faith and the difference it makes
- exploring a sense of vocation in the widest sense
….all this in company with others, young and old, both in years and in their connection with church.
St Mark’s clergy are available to meet with you if you wish and we all invite you to explore the resources here in the Study and Learning section of our website.
We’re all on a journey together, why not come along?
St Mark’s is affiliated to Inclusive Church and the Progressive Church Network
and we are committed to fostering a spirit
of openness, generosity and inclusivity.