Welcome to Irthington Parish Church
Our doors are wide open to people from all backgrounds, regardless of where they are at on their spiritual journey.
Whether you are someone just starting to ask questions about God, or a committed Christian who wants to sink the roots of your faith even deeper, you can find a home here at Irthington Parish Church. You will find that Irthington Church is a place where you really matter – because you matter to God.
We exist as a church to lead people of all ages into a living relationship with Jesus Christ and to help each person to live every day with him and for him.
Dates for the Diary:
For more information about Sunday services, groups which are meeting in the next few weeks and other dates for the diary, please have a look at the parish magazine.
Together, we are striving to become the kind of church described in the Bible, where there is relevant teaching, heart-felt worship, honest friendships, believing prayer, and compassionate care for those in need.We would like to have the kind of contagious Christianity that can influence and encourage others – one life at a time.At Irthington Church we place a high value on children and young people and we are currently looking for ways to provide Sunday groups each Sunday at our main services.
We hope that all adults will get involved in a small group where people share their lives, their prayers and their encouragement. It is here that the truths of the Bible get put into action as people help each other to apply the teaching in the bible to daily life.
What does it mean to belong to Irthington Parish Church?
1. What our church believes:
The Anglican world-wide church holds to a particular summary of biblical doctrine – namely the 39 Articles and other ‘canons’. We don’t put this confession of faith in place of the Bible, but we say the ‘articles’ are a true and accurate summary of what the Bible teaches. What follows is a summary of our most distinctive beliefs at Irthington Parish Church as an Anglican church:
1. The Bible is true
We have a ‘high’ view of the Bible. Jesus’ scripture was the Old Testament. For him, whatever scripture says, God says (Mathew 15:4). He lived under their authority (Matthew 4:4). So, we believe if we are faithful to Christ, our church must hold a very ‘high’ view of the Bible. Jesus calls us to believe and obey what it says – even when it is not to our liking. We can’t pick and choose what we will accept or reject from the Bible – otherwise we place ourselves above God’s word rather than under it.
2. All of us are sinners
We have a low view of ourselves as sinners apart from God’s grace. We believe every person is a sinner at the core of his being and that apart from Jesus, sin rules his perspectives, motives, desires, purposes. This is how Jesus thinks of us – Mark 7:21-23. If we take Jesus seriously, the muck that we feel, think and do will never surprise us. We do not think that an act of sinning makes us a sinner – rather our corrupt nature gives rise to the whole array of sinful acts. We are perverse at the core and that gives rise to all sorts of evil.
3. God has revealed himself
We believe that God has revealed himself as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – and that he is ‘sovereign’ (all things are under his sway – even falling sparrows). More than that, we believe God is so big that we would never come to Jesus in faith unless he brought us and made us able to come.
4. The cross is absolutely central
Here we are at the heart of the gospel. We are held as captives of sin, and Jesus’ death was the ransom price that bought our release from that bondage (Mark 10:45). We have a picture of what Jesus’ death should mean to every Christian in the story of Barrabas in Matthew 27:15-26. Barrabas is released and Jesus is crucified.
5. Grace is utterly incredible
Ask a Christian why God would send Jesus to die for him, why God would draw him to believe in Jesus, why God would care about someone who is evil at the core of his being – and he will have to say it doesn’t make sense at all! But God is not conventional. Why would anyone care about a prostitute having forgiveness of sins? What father in his right mind would wrap his arms round a sticking prodigal? Who would assure a condemned criminal that he would be in paradise? There is no explanation except: That is the way God is – that is the way that Jesus delights to be.
6. Disciples are promised the presence of the Holy Spirit
We believe that once God brings a sinner to Jesus, God places his life and presence into our souls by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39). Jesus wants his people to know his daily presence and power.
7. All of life is holy – so we are to be whole-life disciples
We believe Jesus rules and cares about all of life; nothing is outside his rule – whether business and politics, economics and education, science and sex, history and harvests, art and affliction, music and marriage, plumbing and preaching. All of life is holy and must be submitted to his reign. So, whether you play with your two-year old, wash dishes, make a business deal, preach a sermon, you are doing holy work.
2. What our Church is
Jesus promised, ‘I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it’. We need to know what is the church according to the Bible so we have a measuring stick by which to judge Irthington Parish Church Church. When you know what something is, then you might know what to do with it! So, with the church.
1. Three pictures of the church from the Bible
Christians are God’s building, with Jesus at the foundation; and that building is a temple (1 Cor 3:1-17). And the big characteristic of a temple is that it is sacred. So sacred that anyone who dares to destroy God’s people is headed for deep trouble.
The Church is a bride – Jesus loves us and gave himself for us (Ephesians 5:22-33). If the church is a bride, that means she is dearly loved. Whenever we are tempted to grumble, we should instead seek to copy Jesus’ attitude toward the church and love her.
The church is also a body, so that as with the human body, there is both unity and diversity, and all the various parts are interdependent. Every part of the body needs every other part (1 Cor 12:12-26)
The local Church – like Irthington Parish Church – and how it functions
There are three marks of a local Church:
The preaching of the word of God (Acts 2:42). The local church can only remain a true church so long as it receives God’s truth in the scriptures. So at Irthington Parish Church, we put a lot of effort to pr ovide biblical teaching that both informs the mind and stirs the feeling s.
The provision of the sacraments, administered and received in the right way and done because Jesus commanded it (Matthew 28:18-20 and 1 Cor 11:23)
The practice of disciplin e – people are taught and called by those with pastoral responsibility to shape their thoughts and lives to God’s requirements.
How does Irthington Parish Church function?
We are an Anglican Church – which means that oversight and control is exercised through a vicar, church wardens, PCC and bishops.
We are reformed – which means our doctrine or teaching flows from the Bible – from the faith taught in the Bible and rediscovered in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. As already mentioned, we have a summary of our standards – the 39 Articles and the canons of the church of England. (This summary of essential doctrines is very useful – the Bible covers a lot of ground and it helps to have a digest of its teaching so we can see exactly what we believe.) Do you have to agree with everything in the 39 articles to belong to Irthington Parish Church? No. Our concern is whether you are ‘in Christ’ rather than whether you agree with every doctrine. But if you think you can’t stomach this teaching, wisdom suggest that you should hold off joining.
We are a particular group of believers in a particular place – which means that you will probably find a real mixture of people! People who still struggle against sin and are enduring severe trials. Any number of our people have been through a lot of heavy weather – and the winds are still blowing. That means we may not always be smiling, upbeat people. No doubt there will be people who disappoint you and sometimes infuriate you – no rosy perfection here. Sometimes we will fail to care for each other as we ought. Sometimes we will ignore people so that they feel that they don’t matter. We are an imperfect body of believers convinced that Jesus loves us in spite of ourselves.
We are a church that seeks to worship God carefully and thoughtfully. We don’t want people simply attending church – we want them entering God’s presence and adoring him.
We encourage everyone to be ‘whole-life’ disciples of Jesus – which means that we urge everyone to take a hard look at the place where God has placed them in their weekday life and then to be a window there through which the rays of God’s light can splash out.
3. How Christians live
What are the ways God uses to cause Christians to grow and mature in Christ? Growth comes from God, but he has ‘means of grace’ through which he usually brings growth and gives strength.
The word of God – you can hear the word of God through your personal reading of the Bible. As in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10, we believe there are times when listening to the word of God must take first place to the pressing needs of the moment. The sacraments – baptism and the Lord’s supper. These are God’s authorised illustrations to prop up our weak faith. They press into our souls the conviction that God’s goodness and mercy really will follow us all the days of our life. They are given to make us more sure of God’s promises. Suppose a Christian comes to the Lord’s supper and he is going through a difficult time and is wondering if the Lord has forsaken him. When he receives the bread and wine, it is as if Jesus says to them: ‘You see, if I went this far for you in your sins, do you think I will cast you off in your trials?’ Prayer – if you are a Christian you will pray – or at least Jesus thought so (Matt 6:5) Worship – worship is a hot topic in the church these days. We worship because God has commanded us to do so and because he is worthy of all praise. This means we must seek to develop a hunger for God himself Fellowship – If God is our Father through Jesus, then all his children are our brothers and sisters – we are family. So we should be eager to spend time with each other. God channels his strength through others.
Our services at Irthington Church
The main Sunday morning service is at 9.30am every Sunday.
At the main service there are normally children’s groups and Holy Communion.
We want going to church to be relevant and helpful to our daily lives – not embarrassing or boring. So the various people responsible for the services work hard to get the right mixture of music, bible reading, testimony, praying and teaching so that everyone is at ease and able to hear God speaking into their lives. We know we will never get it perfect because our tastes and personalities are so different. Having said that, we want our services to be ones to which you feel you can bring your non church-going friends and not feel embarrassed.
In connection with the worship in Church, we believe that a variety of really good music is vital. If you can contribute to the worship on Sundays, or join the choir please let us know.
After the main service on a Sunday, we are hoping that refreshments can be served at the back of church.
We are planning to develop a variety of small groups and activities that happen throughout the week and we hope that Irthington Parish Church will enable you to find a place that is well-suited to your situation. Whether you want to investigate Christianity in a safe environment, grow with other Christians, pray with others, serve with people who have similar talents and interests, or get to know others, we hope there will be a small group with a welcome for you!
In this sectionUsing our gifts in serving Pastoral ministry
a. Using our gifts in serving
Part of the vision of Irthington Parish Church is for everyone to participate fully in the life of the church by using their gifts. We are sure that service within the Church provides one of the richest opportunities to grow in our experience in Christ.
If you wish to hear more about any of the following areas, please get in touch with Tim Edwards Tulloch. No one will be expected to undertake any ministry without training.
Do you have a passion to help others find faith and grow in Christian discipleship through teaching and sharing your experience of Jesus? Involvement can be with all age ranges from 4-94 and the teaching can be in many forms.
Do you have a passion to help others see the reality of the Christian faith? Involvement can be with a variety of areas midweek or on Sundays.
Do you have a passion to use your practical skills to help Irthington Parish Church run smoothly and efficiently on Sundays and Midweek? If you have gifts and talents you would like to share by serving at Irthington Parish Church – whether it is volunteering for the music groups, welcome and sidespersons teams, or any other team then please phone Tim Edwards.
Serving the wider community
People from Irthington Parish Church seek to serve in the community and elsewhere around the world by prayer, by giving finance, and by practical involvement.
b. Pastoral care
As Christians we are commanded to love each other, carry each other’s burdens, be kind to each other. We all have this responsibility as we go about our ordinary lives. However there are times for all of us when friendly support is not quite enough. Perhaps there is distress, bereavement, pressure or sickness – or a sense of spiritual emptiness. We provide help for these situations in more structured ways. Please speak to Stephen Robertson at [email protected]
Individual prayer and counselling
Most of us are only too well aware that as Christians we are not immune to the stresses and pressures of being human, especially within our families and relationships. Christian marriage is under particular pressure at the present time. And living in a society whose values are often opposed to the biblical ones we try to live by brings problems at work as well as at home. Sometimes old difficulties surface. It’s often helpful to talk and pray things through in a ‘safe’ situation where the spiritual dimension can be taken into account. Contact Stephen Robertson at [email protected]
In addition to talking through the issues that arise in every marriage and family, we arrange marriage preparation for those in the congregation about to get married
Brief History of Irthington Parish Church
The Church is a Norman building, erected in the twelfth century and has later Victorian Gothic additions, including a clocktower which chimes every quarter of an hour! The Church was thoroughly restored about thirty years ago.