We are an old church (since 1877) with (soon to be) a new name, changing from Cheltenham Evangelical Free Church to Whaddon Road Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We are a group of people of mixed ages (from 0 to nearly 90), mixed backgrounds and mixed nationalities who meet together to worship God and encourage one another in living for him.
But what do we stand for? Here are 5 of our core values:
- Glory. Why do we exist? For the glory of God. Not that God needs us; he exists in perfect delight from all eternity as the Triune (three in one) God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That’s what makes his love towards us so amazing. Everything we do is to be for the glory of God – “Whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.”
- Compassion. What is God like? In Exodus 34:6-7, God tells Moses that he is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” God is a God of justice; he will deal with every wrong in this world. But he is also full of compassion. As a church we try to demonstrate that compassion in caring for one another, particularly the needy among us, and by reaching out to a broken world. Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost”.
- Covenant. Central to the structure of the Bible is God’s Covenant – a commitment to his people: “I will be your God and you will be my people.” This is the way he relates to us – by committing himself all the way to death to rescue his people and restore them to a relationship to him. By implication, we believe in being a community (“you will be my people”). As God’s people, we are to reflect God – his love, his holiness and his grace. This means we seek to be a loving community that reaches out to others.
- Connection. By conviction we are not independent. We belong to a denomination called “The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales”. But we also actively seek to encourage connections with other churches both near and far. Jesus was concerned about the unity of the church and so are we.
- Confession. We are a church that believes in confessing its faith. By that we mean making clear what we believe and telling others about it. What we believe is found in the historic documents of the Westminster Confession of Faith, Westminster Larger Catechism and Westminster Shorter Catechism. We also hold to the ecumenical creeds which are more basic summaries of what the Christian church believes.