Fowey Parish Church is part of the Peninsula Gospel Partnership which is a partnership of local churches working together to see a Christ-centred, people-loving, Bible-teaching church available for every community in Cornwall and Devon.
We share the following convictions about the shape of gospel ministry:
The means of gospel ministry is the prayerful teaching of the Bible.
It is as the Bible is prayerfully taught in the power of the Spirit that God’s voice is heard.
The heart of gospel ministry is the proclamation of Christ crucified.
The message of the cross is God’s way of saving people from his coming wrath.
The focus for gospel ministry is the local church.
It is primarily through the local church that unbelievers are brought to faith in Christ and believers are built up in him.
In grateful response to Jesus our Lord, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, we will extend the welcome of the Church to every person, regardless of race, sex, social or economic status, sexual orientation, or past behavior. We will oppose prejudice in ourselves and others. We acknowledge that we are all sinners who need to repent and submit to Jesus's rule in every area of life, so we reject false notions of inclusivity that deny the need for repentance and faith in Christ.
Statement on Marriage
We affirm, according to the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in accordance with Canon B30 of the Church of England, "that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity."
In the light of this, we intend:
- To continue to teach from scripture that heterosexual marriage is the only right context for a sexual relationship.
- To continue to welcome all who come to our church, to make charitable assumptions, to respect all as people made in the image of God, to teach and preach the good news of Jesus to all, and to call all to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, irrespective of sexuality and lifestyle.
- To reject all actions, words and attitudes which victimise or diminish people, and to make clear that these are sins of which to repent.
- To engage pastorally and gently with those who become regular attenders and are open about being in a sexual relationship outside of heterosexual marriage; to make it clear to them that we are all sinners in need of grace and forgiveness, and that to profess Jesus as our Lord calls us all to repentance in this area of life, as in any other.
- To exhort all who come to Baptism or Holy Communion to do so with a truly penitent heart and lively faith, heeding the warning of God's word to so judge ourselves that we practice repentance, pursue holiness and, above all things, give thanks to God for the redemption of the world by the atoning death of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
- To be discerning about whom we invite to engage in ministries in the church, so that as far as possible we 'practise what we preach' in every area of life, including sexual matters. Those who are open with us about a sexual relationship outside of heterosexual marriage - and show no sign of wishing to put it right - will not be asked to exercise leadership in church life, though they will always be welcome to attend. If they are already leading, they will be asked to step back.
- To urge the Diocese of Truro, the Church of England and other churches too, to uphold the Biblical teaching that marriage between a man and a woman is the only right context for a sexual relationship.
In all of this, we wish to hold ourselves to the high demands of Christian love and care in all our dealings with people, both inside and outside the church, knowing that for some the intentions outlines above will be hard to understand, and very hard to put into practice. We nonetheless believe them to be the way of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us, for our everlasting good.
Living Out - for Christians who are same-sex attracted