We believe we are called by God to grow an inclusive, worshipping community, where we encourage belonging and nurture believing, together becoming followers of Jesus who share God’s love with the world.
Belonging… Believing… Becoming…
[dropcap]J[/dropcap]esus once told a story about a tree that grew from the smallest of seeds. As it grew larger and larger, the birds of the air were attracted to the shade and made nests in its many branches. Mark 4:30-32
Our church structure, plan for growth and even our logo, take inspiration from this story. St James & Emmanuel is like this tree with many branches. Our Sunday congregations, Academy Trust of schools, our numerous midweek groups, Home Community Café, our Parish Centre, are all examples of these branches and each one offers a unique and varied place of belonging.
Our church offers a place of sanctuary and welcome for thousands of people and helps them to fulfil their calling in the world.
We hope you will find a place here too.
Our shared values…
We believe in a church which welcomes, accepts and serves all people. We do not discriminate on any level, including: economic power, gender, gender identity, mental health, mental ability, physical ability, race or sexuality.
We value and treasure belonging.
We are scripturally faithful, seeking to proclaim the good news of Jesus afresh for each generation and in the power of the Holy Spirit, allowing all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God.
We value believing.
We support people in their personal journey. Following Jesus is exciting, transforming and challenging. We help people to respond creatively to God as they express his love through local and international projects, the arts and community involvement.
We value becoming.
Our shared values enable our church to become the tree Jesus talked about in his parable: a place where people can shelter in its branches, experience the transforming power of God’s love and take this message out to the world.
In order to nurture these shared values, we feel inspired to develop five key branches of our shared life.
Our shared life…
Together we develop the unique strengths of each of our diverse congregations, by seeking to:
- encourage everyone to use their unique gifts for the benefit of all
- offer relevant and life-enhancing Bible teaching
- encourage inspiring and diverse worship – musically, liturgically and artistically
- coordinate pastoral care to each congregation
- encourage greater participation with those on the margins of our church family
- nurture an inclusive approach to worship where people of all ages and backgrounds can participate
- develop our two church buildings and their grounds, to create a sense of awe, wonder and community value.
Together we offer the opportunity to grow in the Christian faith, encourage human flourishing and develop our gifts and talents, by offering:
- homegroups which provide a place of sanctuary in our pressurised and complex world
- courses, retreats and pilgrimages that encourage reflection, wondering and growth in faith
- medium-sized communities e.g. groups for men and women, Farsi speakers, the Six Fifteen Community, Coffee and Communion
- teaching and pastoral care that unlocks our innate human potential and frees us from destructive behaviour and thinking
- baptisms, weddings and funerals to all members of the wider community with the support needed at these key moments of life.
Youth and Children
We offer a diverse range of youth and children’s groups throughout the week and together with the St James & Emmanuel Academy Trust of schools we also support a first-class educational experience, by providing:
- safe and sacred places for our children to explore life and faith
- a well-equipped Godly Play room for use locally and nationally
- a Youth Café for young people across the community to meet and have fun
- midweek groups where children, parents and carers can find support and friendship
- opportunities for children and young people to participate in worship as valued and equal members of the church community
- support and training for our many volunteers and leaders and compliance with all the latest Safeguarding requirements
- high quality governance, leadership and support for our trust schools.
Together we work creatively with our local community for the benefit of all, seeking to serve and to learn from our neighbours as we share God’s love in word and deed, by ensuring that:
- buildings are available so that we can encourage the flourishing of local community groups and activities
- buildings are maintained with diligence and care so that they are safe, beautiful and well-used
- God’s preference for the poor is central to our decisions and that we actively support ministry to the marginalized
- Home Community Café is fully supported in its desire to provide a welcoming space for individuals, families and groups
- deanery (Withington) and diocesan (Manchester) churches receive our support when we are invited to contribute.
Together we believe that care for creation and the world’s most vulnerable people is fundamental to following Jesus and we commit ourselves to supporting:
- projects in deprived areas of the world
- opportunities for short-term placements in our church for young adults from overseas
- our mission partners by prayer, personal interest, giving and going
- campaigns for better stewardship of the world’s resources
- the Farsi speaking members of our church
- initiatives that bring environmental concern into all aspects of church life.