What We Believe
All Saints Church is part of the The Diocese of St. Albans part of the Church of England, which is itself part of the wider Anglican Communion. We have a focus on communicating the good news of Jesus in a relevant way, we celebrate communion each Sunday apart from the 4th Sunday of the month and have a commitment to prayer all in the context of a warm and friendly welcome in a building that has witnessed Christian worship for 900 years.
One of the strengths of the Church of England is its variety of different styles of worship, all based on a firm foundation.
This foundation is an obvious combination of the authority of the Bible as the sacred text - the word of God, and the preaching of the word to this generation in the context of the sacraments including the communion, baptism, confirmation and rites of passage such as marriage and death.
The beliefs of the Church of England are as follows:
- a belief that the Bible contains the core of all Christian faith and thought
- a commitment to serving the needs of the local parish community
- celebration of the sacraments ordained by Jesus - that of Baptism and Eucharist or Holy Communion
- a system of Church order that stems from ancient times and is focused in the ordained ministry of Bishop, Priest and Deacon
- a firm commitment to the ministry of the whole people of God, lay and ordained together
- a way of Christian thinking that involves Scripture, Tradition and Reason held together in creative tension.
The Christian year begins with Advent, four Sundays before Christmas. Then Christmas comes and the birth of Christ is celebrated before the Wise Men arrive and the season of Epiphany takes over. Gifts are offered, God guides us. Jesus is revealed. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday with the solemn observation of Jesus entering into the Wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. Christians usually study more, pray harder, focus earnestly on their faith and belief (rather than just giving up chocolate!) before the dramatic week of Holy Week finally arrives.
Psalm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (the day Jesus dies on the cross, come in quick succession); then the night before Easter is celebrated with a vigil and a longing for the joy of the resurrection to be made real.
Easter is full of joy: new life is offered and replaces the darkness of death. Christians believe that Jesus overcomes death one and for all and offers all believers a way to salvation.
Then, after weeks of celebration and joy, Jesus departs on the Feast of the Ascension before the birthday of the Church is celebrated on the Feast of Pentecost .
So, to be an Anglican means that our pilgrimage takes us on an exciting and dramatic journey - covering every aspect of life and living. Conversion involves transformation.
Through prayer, through reading the Bible, through joining in fellowship with others in celebrating the sacraments - the church only actually exists when human beings gather to worship the one true God. The buildings are really sacred space rather than the church itself!