Welcome statement

It is one thing for someone to say “you are welcome” and another thing to feel welcome.
To help you know if you will feel welcome at St. Andrew’s with Castle Gate, we have written this “welcome statement” as honestly as we can!

 

We believe the Church should reflect the love and example of Jesus Christ, who welcomed and accepted all without discrimination. 

Along with the United Reformed Church, our congregation is committed to building a community which welcomes and serves all people regardless of age, race and ethnicity, marital status, physical and mental ability, mental health, neurodiversity, class, gender, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, education, belief, depth of knowledge, economic status or political outlook.

We wish to be, and are working to be, a congregation which celebrates and affirms every person and does not discriminate – one in which everyone feels welcome and part of the church so that they can explore and live out their spirituality and faith together. Recognising that we are all on a journey (as individuals and as a congregation), we believe in being able to hold and share our opinions respectfully and honestly. We believe our church should be a place where we can discuss matters freely, without letting differences of opinion harm our relationships with each other in the knowledge that we may live together in the community of Christ regardless of these differences.

As the URC website says:

‘The United Reformed Church is proud to be an intercultural Church, where people with varied ethnic and cultural roots meet, worship, discuss and learn from one another. We were pioneers in ordaining women – our first female minster was ordained more than 100 years ago in 1917. Most jobs and roles in the URC, whether voluntary or paid, are open to all.

A lack of hierarchy, and a respect for individual principles, means that the URC is not rigid in the expression of its beliefs, and embraces a wide variety of opinions. At the same time, in the words of the URC’s Statement of Nature, Faith and Order, together we are committed to ‘God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the living God, the only God, ever to be praised.’

 

You may also like to read our response the Student Christian Movement’s “Honest Church” campaign which asks churches to write “with greater honesty about the true welcome that LGBTQ+ people receive” and to be honest about women’s opportunities or limits in the church. This may be found HERE.

 

Romans 10 v12b God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to him. (Good News Bible)