What does that mean? It means that we believe certain things.

Along with Christians all around the world and over the past 2000 years, we stand and recite the Apostles’ Creed, and Nicene Creed.

These creeds are not just abstract statements of faith. They tell us who God is, and what he has done in the world through Jesus Christ – that he died for our sins, that he rose again, and that he will return. They are a Christian’s lifeblood and hope.

As an Anglican Church we also hold to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. This is a longer statement of faith hammered out in the sixteenth century, when the Anglican Church was just beginning.

It works from two important principles. One is that human beings are to be reconciled to God by God’s grace alone. Authentic Christianity is not about trying to impress God with our values or our decency or our achievements. It is about being open with God about our brokenness and weakness, and trusting in him to mend us. The cross of Jesus Christ, that terrible and desolate scene, is also the most beautiful thing in the Christian gospel, because that’s where we see God himself coming close to us.

The other is that that great book, the Bible, is the supreme way in which God communicates to us. It is the ‘Standing Orders’ for the Christian and for the Christian church. What an authentic Christian church needs to do is to faithfully listen to the Word of God in the Bible – to hear his voice, and respond.

What we do at St Mark’s is shaped by what we believe. We gather to sing the praises of the great God who made the universe. We confess to him, knowing that he is merciful and kind, and yearns to forgive. We open the Bible and read it, and explain it: and we want it to shape our lives.

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