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At St John’s we celebrate the fact that Jesus revealed to us the possibility of a fully realised human life, a life emptied of self-seeking and ego fulfilment. He showed us that it is possible for a human being to be free to really live life to the full and in doing so to set other people free to live more fully and to realise their own God-given potential to give and receive love.
Our primary act of worship at St John’s is the Parish Eucharist. This is celebrated in a dignified way in a style that could be described as moderate anglo-catholic. Whilst we recognise the value of symbolism, ritual and traditional means of expressing deep spiritual truth we recognise that it is the deep underlying truths that are more important than their traditional means of expression. For this reason we continue to explore new ways of expressing eternal truths that we hope will resonate more closely with contemporary experience of the divine.
For instance we believe in the kingdom of heaven as referring to the nature of the relationship between people who respond positively to the promptings of God in their lives and not as a place beyond the sky which we go to after our physical death.
What is more we believe that we do not have to wait until after our physical death to begin to experience eternal life but can begin to glimpse it and live it here and now.
We believe that the New Testament was written primarily as an attempt to explain, in terms appropriate to the world view and scientific understanding of those alive in the first century, how it was that Jesus had such an extraordinarily powerful impact on so many people, an impact that remained undiminished even after his physical death.
It is our desire to express the powerful witness of Jesus life in ways that are appropriate and accessible to our own generation. Jesus is just as remarkable and radical now as he was 2000 years ago. He still has the power to liberate, energise and fulfil but in order to convince people of this we need to explain him in terms that do not conflict with modern psychology or the physical sciences.
In order for us to be able to do this means that we need to allow ourselves to be challenged to understand and express the person of Jesus using new forms and images and to be unafraid to re-interpret ancient doctrines by looking beyond literal statements to the truths they were trying to express.
All this is difficult and challenging and we do not find it easy. That is why we need the support and encouragement of fellow-travellers who have lively and enquiring minds, with whom we can discuss and explore eternal truths and with whom we can share the joys and challenges of our spiritual journeys.
If you want to love God with all your heart and mind and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself and to express these desires in action by upholding truth and justice; if you sometimes have difficulty in understanding or accepting some of the practices and doctrines of the Christian Church in the ways that these have been explained to you in the past then we would be delighted if you felt able to join us and explore ways in which we can help one another to grow in faith and love.
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