Faith Christian Group was founded by a Christian, has a ‘christian’ constitution and is largely staffed and financed by the Church , of all denominations, in Reading.
We live in a country which is fast becoming secular.
However it has been essentially Christian in law and moral code for well over 1000 years.
The first known Romano-British martyr, St Alban, was killed for his faith in 304 A.D.
This was granted over 500 years ago, but still stands as a reminder to us of our town’s heritage.
We have a monarch who both in principle as Head of the Church of England and in personal practice is a Christian …… and we regularly sing our hope that God will save her ….. yes even the monarch isn’t guaranteed a place in eternity!
It is this cultural role of the Church of England for its non-members, for all the Queen’s subjects, which gives it such stature in the life of the nation – ‘woven into the fabric of our nation’ as she put it, and which makes her so committed to it.
It’s easy to underestimate how much the Queen likes the Church of England. She attends services when she’s on her breaks at Sandringham not out of a sense of duty – though her reign has been characterised by a self-sacrificial servant ministry – but because she wants to.
The concluding words of her Christmas speech in 2011 says so much of her personal faith.
We have a Parliament that begins each day in prayer not just to any God, but to the God who describes ‘himself’ as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to our Queen and her government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed. Amen.”
In the House of Lords they use a variety of prayers including:
“O Lord our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most Gracious Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that she may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way: Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant her in health and wealth long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies; and finally after this life she may attain everlasting joy and felicity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Quite how long it will be before the law is changed to reflect our so-called more diverse society, removing such prayers from our parliament, who can tell. As I write this in 2017 the pressures to throw out all our traditions and beliefs, as we strain to define “British Values“, is intensifying.
In our rush to be modern and inclusive we are throwing away long held shared values. We would do well to heed the words of G.K. Chesterton, “Do not remove a fence until you know why it was put there.”
So we should not be ashamed to call ourselves Christians or be open about our faith.
Neither should it be wrong to say thatone is motivated not just from a love of humanity but also from a love for God.
Many charities up and down the U.K. were founded by Christians and set up on Christian principles. FAITH is one such organisation.
Our foundational beliefs and motivations are based on the teachings of the bible, the very book that is still used today in our law courts when witnesses swear to tell the truth.
In particular we would look to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.
We come from all walks of life and many different denominations – Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, “New Church”, and we share the same common faith as an estimated 2.1 billion people worldwide.
Not a Christian country?
According to the 2001 Census
No religion: 16%