APPENDIX 1

SEVEN DISTINCTIVES OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND

  1. Local Leadership – every expression of church has local believers who offer leadership according to their calling and gifts. They are part of the leadership gifts of God to a local community of believers.
  2. Every Member Ministry – while trained ministers can often be found in leadership, the focus of this leadership ministry is on empowering the local church to be an effective expression of the body of Christ.
  3. Local Autonomy in National Partnership – every local church is self-governed but enjoys co-operative friendships and networking to assist in fulfilling their ministry.
  4. Christian Unity in Diversity – a passion for Christian unity that leads to mission has been one of the clarion calls of Churches of Christ since the early beginnings in the early 19th century. This is not uniformity, but open creativity to practice and express life locally while embracing shared core values.
  5. Weekly Celebration of Communion – a sacramental view of life acknowledges the interweaving of heaven and earth, which is regularly expressed in worship by participating in sharing bread and wine.
  6. Believer’s Baptism – encountering God personally by faith also includes baptism by immersion as an adult as a beginning experience of the Christian journey.
  7. The Whole Church as the People of God – We have always sought to encourage and participate in the ‘catholicity’ of the church, recognising that we are only one small part of a wonderful expression of God’s people. While there will always be differences in belief and practices, we would uphold the value of the church as a missional community and seek to work with each expression to fulfil the great commission of Jesus.