Jonathan Swift once wrote, 'vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others'.
What we have been privileged to see for ourselves is just how much God loves each one of us. He loves us so much he sent his Son Jesus to be with us and to show us how to live and to love. The more we follow the example of Jesus, the closer we will come to God's own vision for this world, a vision of love, and peace, and justice for all creation. That vision is what Christians mean when we speak of the Kingdom of God.
Our hope and prayer at St Edmund's is that we might strive, in every way we can, through worship, fellowship and service to one another and to our community, to grow day by day into the people God calls us to be.
Our mission or task is rooted in that vision of building God's kingdom on earth and the part we might play in it.
There are five hallmarks of mission as taught by the Church of England and they are:
1/ To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
2/ To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
3/ To respond to human need by loving service
4/ To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
5/ To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
There is no hierarchy here - each of the five hallmarks of mission is as important as and interconnected with the other four. Responding to injustice is part and parcel of proclaiming the Good News; caring for creation links closely with responding to human need.
As a community serving God and the wider community we seek to welcome all unconditionally, no matter whether you are committed believer, an enquirer, or simply seeking refuge and a space apart. We are proud to be part of Inclusive Church and our prayer is to be fully inclusive, to act with loving integrity in all we say and do, to serve everyone in the parish of St Alban's and ultimately to enable all to grow fully in God's image and, as Scripture puts it, to 'live abundantly'.
The Bible tells us that “we are God’s handiwork” (Ephesians 2:10). We believe that everyone – including you – is created unique and uniquely loved by God, both for the person you are and the person you can become. And we believe that the Gospel message is one of love, acceptance, hope and possibility, not coercion or condemnation. Wherever you are on your faith journey, even if you’re not sure yourself, we’d be very pleased to welcome you. Come and see.