Church of England Diocese of Ely

Rooted in Christ: what unites us

At the heart of this new church community in Northstowe is a recognition that we are seeking to follow The Pathfinder, Jesus Christ.

Our vision is to be people who are praying, exploring and sharing...

  - Everything we do is grounded in prayer -- recognising that the God who made us and loves us is intimately concerned with the practical realities of our day to day life. Prayer looks different for many people -- why not come and try out a few ways and see what works for you?

  - We're not following a 'blue print' for how to "start a church". We're exploring together -- listening to and working with people as they move into Northstowe, as well as listening to and responding to the wisdom of the Christian tradition.

  - And we know that we can't do any of this alone. We're here to work together, to bless each other, to learn from each other, sharing this adventure. Why not join us!

Who are we?

We are part of the Church of England, living out a commitment to be “a visible Christian presence in every community ” (read more about how we fit with the historic villages and the grouping known as 5 folds...)

But those who are coming together to form Pathfinder Church come from all traditions and from none: together we are pilgrims on a journey, asking questions and exploring the connections we find between everyday life and our spirituality and faith.

What unites us is much stronger than our denominational backgrounds: it is a rooted, growing, and transforming faith based on an encounter with the ancient God who still changes lives today. 

During our first year, we are unpacking these three themes as follows, taking one theme each school term.

1. Putting down roots

We are rooted in the stories of our lives and the people places that matter to us, in God’s story, and how it interweaves with our stories; in moments of Grace and encounter; in the ancient belief in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and a sense of belonging to the world-wide family of the church. This means:

 * We celebrate the stories of the people and places that are shaping us: Northstowe is a new town but that does not mean we have no history. Our lives today, individually and collectively, matter.

 * Our stories belong as part of a bigger story: the story of God’s interaction with the world. This big story is told in the Bible — the library of books Christians recognise as Holy Scripture. These books contain everything necessary for life-giving faith.

 * We look for “moments of Grace” — times of particular encounter with God. The sharing of communion (remembering the stories of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, and being changed by sharing bread and wine) and baptism (welcome into the family of the church) are central to the life of our church.

 * We root ourselves in the historic expression of faith in God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit contained in the ancient creeds of the church, shared between many denominations, in particular, the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed. Read more…

 * We celebrate being part of the wider worldwide church both today and historically down the generations. Through our identity within the Church of England (in the Anglican parish of St Michael and All Saints, Longstanton) we are connected to an estimated 85 million Christians within the Anglican Communion. The Church of England is one of 47 churches making up Churches Together England.

2. Following a path - growing together

We believe that in Jesus, God has walked this earth before us, and that with Jesus as our companion and guide we can travel through life differently.

These words come from a letter written to the early church, (recorded in the Bible as Colossians 2 6:7 in THE VOICE translation) yet we believe they speak strongly today too:

“Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness.”

3. Learning to fly - living transformed lives

With God shaping our lives, we believe that He will use us to make a difference in the world: to bless those around us and help stand up for justice. Of course, we’ll make mistakes and fail along the way, but he will give us the strength, hope, adn courage to keep going.

The words of this ancient prophecy, recorded in the book of Isaiah, (chapter 40 verses 30-31) in the scriptures shared by Jews and Christians, have inspired us.

"Young people will get tired;
strapping young men will stumble and fall.
But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
They will walk—never tired, never faint."