What are we about?
We are Christian
In one sense we want to claim very little remarkable about us! We are “just” a Christian Church, which believes and worships the creator God who is Father, Son and Spirit. Like all other main stream denominations, we wholeheartedly agree with the three classic universal creeds: Nicene, Apostles, Athanasian.
We are Evangelical
Typically, evangelical is understood to mean “Bible believing”. We are certainly that, but the word means far more. It means that we seek to proclaim the “Evangel” (gospel/good news about Jesus) locally and support it being spread globally. This gospel of grace shapes how we live, including all our relationships. As Evangelicals, we cheerfully endorse modern summaries of doctrine, such as the doctrinal bases of Affinity, Gospel Partnership and UCCF.
We are Reformed
This means that we are rooted in the tradition of the Reformers (English, Scottish and Continental) and their successors in recovering the gospel in its apostolic purity. We affirm the Reformation’s teaching that Scripture alone is the church’s final authority for faith and life. We believe, on the authority of Scripture, that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone, all for the glory of God alone!
Practically, being reformed entails confidently seeking a biblical view of everything in the world and of all our life. This includes a biblical view of the church and how the church is organised, worship and the sacraments, the Christian life, civil government, work, study and family, how we enjoy life and much more: all to God’s glory. The particular Reformed standards we subscribe to are: Westminster Confession of Faith and the Shorter and Larger Catechisms.
We are Presbyterian
It’s there in our name. The word “Presbyter” is the Greek work for an elder. Presbyterian churches are not a one-man-show nor hierarchical. A team of elders are responsible for caring for the congregation, and a minister is another elder, among equals. Churches form networks called Presbyteries, where all the elders meet regularly to encourage and teach one another, pray together, hold one another to account, organise our common events, and plan how to keep working together to advance the kingdom by planting churches.
Our Presbytery is the EPCEW. Through them, we have formal relationships with various denominations in other countries (including, PCA, OPC, FCoS, EPC(NI) and GKV). We enjoy good relationships with other evangelical churches in Chelmsford and throughout the UK. To further evangelical unity, we are delighted to be members of Affinity and Gospel Partnership.
We have an Aim
“What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
(Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 1)
We aim to bring glory to God
- by gathering to worship him,
- by equipping Christians for the situations where God has placed them, and for serving the church and
- by making Christ known to those who do not yet know him.
For details about our Sunday services and mid-week activities, see here.
The first sermon preached in Chelmsford Presbyterian Church was on 5th April, 1992, by Rev David Cross. David and his wife Barbara were invited to come by a number of people who were living in Chelmsford and who were interested in forming a church based on sound Reformed doctrine. The Crosses served as members of the Mission to the World (MTW) team in Britain.
In 2002 the church called its first Minister, the Rev Dr John Scott to be wholly financially supported by the congregation. In May, 2008, Rev Chris Kavanagh was installed as Associate Minister. In October 2009, John Scott accepted a post as CEO of Daylight Prison Trust. Chris Kavanagh retired in 2014.
In August 2012 Rev Darren Moore was installed as Minister and in October 2015 Rev Dr Steffen Jenkins was installed as Associate Minister.
What God began with a handful of people meeting in a lounge, then moving to various venues around the city, He has been pleased to grow into a church that currently funds itself and has its own leadership. 2017 marks our 25th Birthday, a quarter of a century, for which we praise God! Our aim remains exactly as it started!