Our faith is not just a collection of beliefs, more that even a way of life - it is a cornerstone, a foundation out of which every thing else that we do follows. So how does this work itself out in day-to-day life? Here are a selection of practical ways our faith is displaying in our lives. Click on them for more information.
Dedication - welcoming new babies into the Church
Baptism - publicly declaring your faith
Marriage - a commitment, a covenant
Worship - a daily sacrifice
Communion - coming together to remember
Service - following Jesus' example
Giving - blessed to be a blessing
Fasting - God is more important
Preaching and Teaching - hearing from God today
Fellowship - learning and growing together
A new baby is an exciting and life-changing event. As a Church family, we love to welcome new additions and the way we do this is through dedication.
Dedication usually takes place as part of the service. The family of the new baby is invited to stand up in front of the church congregation. They promise to bring up the baby as a Christian and the congregation promises to help them. The baby and their family are prayed for.
If you’d like your baby or child to be dedicated, why not contact us?
The baptism we practice at BCLC comes from John the Baptist in the gospels. We offer baptism to anyone who has made a decision to follow Jesus and is willing to confess (talk about) it in front of the congregation.
Practically, what happens is the person being baptised and the Pastor and one of the elders step into the baptismal pool. The person confirms that they have accepted Jesus as their saviour. The person is the briefly immersed under the water before emerging.
Symbolically, we believe this represents a person being washed clean of their sin, and leaving their old life behind in the water, coming up to lead a new life with Jesus. We believe it is an important and momentous step in a person’s faith journey.
See a baptism at BCLC:
If you’re interested in being baptised, why not contact us?
We believe that God loves families, and he loves marriages where the partners in it work together for His glory. We believe that marriage is an essential foundation for a strong, fruitful, enduring relationship between a man and a woman and a perfect environment in which to raise children. We would actively encourage any couple to marry before living together.
We believe that marriage is a covenant – a binding, solemn promise to commit to one another between a man and a woman, in which God becomes the "third strand" – which lasts for a lifetime.
If you’re looking to get married, why not contact us?
We believe that God calls us to worship Him in “spirit and in truth”. For us, this includes but is not limited to singing, prayer and sharing on a Sunday. We worship him daily with our actions and thoughts.
We believe that God is active when we join together to worship Him, and expect Him to speak through songs, through testimony (accounts of what God has done for us), through prophesy (when God speaks directly through a person), and through tongues and interpretation (when someone speaks in a heavenly language and God tells someone else what it means).
This can be disconcerting if you are not familiar with it, but rest assured everything good originates with God – and if it isn’t good, it isn’t from God! If you have any questions, please do ask someone from the pastoral team or contact us.
Twice a month, we take communion as a congregation. What this means is that a cup of “wine” and a plate of “bread” (called “emblems”) are passed around the congregation and shared amongst them.
We do this as a symbolic repetition of the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples, before his death. He gave them a powerful picture - the bread was his body, which would be broken for us, and the wine was his blood, that would be shed for us.
We believe that communion has many purposes. It helps us to recall the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, it helps to remind us of our need of his sacrifice and as a congregation sharing a cup and the bread – it reminds us that we are one body, bound together in Christ. We believe that communion has deep spiritual significance that we don’t fully understand. For this reason, we ask people to consider carefully their relationship with God and with others before they take communion. Before children take communion, we ask that their parents consider their level of understanding.
We believe that being a Christian is more than being “spiritual”, saying our prayers and going to Church. Following Jesus is a life-changing mission! We believe that it’s important to show Jesus’ love for our community through practical acts of service - we see this as part of our worship.
Some examples of this within the Church are running a toddler group, being involved in street pastors, running a club for the elderly and many other groups. We also do one off events, like a community barbecue and giving out hampers at Christmas to our neighbours in need.
In addition to this, many Church members serve within the Church - for example, in the music group or as a steward (welcoming people on a Sunday). Outside the church, many members work to help and support their community.
If you have any practical needs we can help with, please do contact us.
We believe that everything we have - our time, our abilities and our money is a gift from God given to us to be used in his service. So we freely give back to God. We give our time and abilities, though helping with the various groups in the church. And we also give our money back to God - many members do this by giving an amount to the Church on a regular basis - and some members support other charities.
As part of the Sunday service, a bag is passed around the Church for members to put in their gifts of money - we see this as part of our worship. Some members give directly from their bank account.
There is never any obligation to give to the Church (be it your time, your abilities or your money) but we believe that God blesses those who give. The Church itself also gives to various charities during the year.
To "fast" simply means to give something up. You may have heard of people chosing something to "fast" for Lent - for example, chocolate or coffee! As a Church, we believe that fasting is a biblical principle and once a month we invite the whole Church to fast (typically giving up food, but it can be other things) for one day, and come together to pray at the end of the day. We don't do this as a religious act of obedience. Rather, it is an act of worship - we give up food (or Facebook, or video games, or anything else important to you!) in order to demonstrate that God is more important to us that this thing, and to help us focus on Him. In a Christian context, fasting is always partnered with prayer. We appreciate that some people cannot fast food, due to medical or other reasons, and there is never any obligation to participate.
Preaching and Teaching
As Christians, we believe that the bible is God's word. We believe it is eternally true, and will help and guide us in our lives today. Because of this, in addition to reading and studying the bible indivdually, when we come together, an important part of our meeting is the sermon. One member of the congregation takes a specific passage of scripture and helps us to understand it in a deeper way - or sometimes they may preach on a theme, taking a number of scriptures from around the bible to help us understand what the bible says about the subject. We believe that when a person preaches or teaches from the bible, they are not sharing their own wisdom, but God's. The most important part of preparing a sermon (what a talk about the bible is called) is prayer - the person bringing the Word must first hear from God, before they can share with the congregation. The difference between preaching and teaching is not always clear - preaching is often thematic and inspirational, teaching often takes a passage of scripture and unpacks the meaning held within. Most sermons include preaching and teaching. You can listen to many of our previous sermons in the resources section.
We believe that God has not called us in isolation. He call us to be part of a community of faith - a community held together by much more than a common interest, held together by Jesus' sacrifice and His grace. Part of this is chosing to spend time with one another - not only worshipping, but also socially. The tea and coffee we share after the service is just as important as the songs we sing and the scripture we listen to! We believe that it's through friendships formed and built that we learn more about Jesus', and practice Jesus' love for one another.