Who we are
We aspire to make everyone welcome at St James’ and we invite you to join us just as you are. We are a collection of individuals many of whom know a personal experience of a living relationship with the risen Christ and are drawn together as part of the family of God. We seek to live our lives in accordance with the revelation of God contained in the Bible as our only guide for what we believe and for our conduct. We are confident that God’s love in Christ is good news for anyone and everyone. We invite you to explore with us Christ’s claims on our lives as part of our church community. We aim, amongst other things, to present those claims clearly week by week in our teaching programme so that all may understand ‘The Good News’ for themselves, accept it, and come to know God personally.
There is good news that holds us together
The news we have heard and want to respond to concerns the life, death and resurrection of a man called Jesus who lived 2000 years ago. All the records we have available confirm that Jesus lead a remarkable life, and died an even more marvelous sacrificial death. Extraordinarily three days after his death reports emerged of Jesus rising from the dead to a new and more powerful life, just as he said he would.
Quickly his followers, the first Christians, realised that Jesus’ resurrection was a vindication of his life and teaching and the fulfillment of promises made by God, over a thousand years earlier to Abraham and Moses. God promised that through them and their descendants he would bless the whole world. As the early Christians prayed together, listened to God and reflected on what had happened, they came to see Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, as an exact revelation of the character of God, the creator and sustainer of all things, indeed that he himself was divine. Despite numerous attempts, these truths have never been extinguished but rather they have convicted many people, through many generations and across all the countries in the world, to submit to Christ as their Saviour and live remarkable lives of service and hope.
How we want to respond
We are driven as today’s Church, by this calling of the early Christians, to live out its purpose to be God’s way of blessing the whole world, working together in the ways that its creator and sustainer intends for the world’s benefit. Sadly, we know that, we fail to live right before God and our neighbors and sometimes we become hypocritical. Thankfully, in Jesus’ life we see the examples of compassion at the heart of the way he desires us to live as a community, and the grace of God when we collectively or individually, fall short of God’s standards.
Many things are changing in the world around us, particularly the opportunities made available through science and technology; yet we believe firmly that Jesus himself and those believers of Jesus from the first century onwards, still have much to teach us. Whilst striving for humility we insist that it is good to remain true to those teachings especially when they conflict with our cultural worldview. We lay out our Basis of Faith to provide a clear understanding of our theological position from which we are led. We develop our understanding of Christ’s claim on our lives by working this out together as a diverse community. Above all, we confidently affirm our purpose in declaring the Good News of a personal relationship with the God of the universe through what Jesus Christ achieved by his life, death and resurrection.
We hope to welcome you
This is what we mean when we say that we believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We are the people who meet in the ‘church-by-the-river’ where anyone is and feels welcome and wants to join us, and make this belief more alive in Hemingford Grey.
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel welcome.