At Bury St Edmunds Presbyterian Church, we have three overriding priorities that can be summed up in three words – worship, word and welcome.
We prioritise worship because it is the central reason why we do what we do as a church. In fact, the reason why each of us are alive is to worship God. This is why our weekly meetings for corporate worship are the centre of all we do as a church. The sermons you will hear from our pulpit and pastoral care you will receive from our elders has the goal – not primarily, of making you a better person – but of making you one who better fulfils his or her ultimate purpose. We reach out to those who do not know Christ so that God may have more worshipers and so that those who know the emptiness of living for anyone or anything apart from God might have joy and peace in finally living for what they were designed to do!
We prioritise God’s Word because it is the primary way in which God communicates with us. God in His Word tells us who He is, who we are, what He has done for us, what we must believe, how we must live and much, much more. The particular form of our worship services – and we pray, our lives – is determined by the Word of God. In those services, we sing God’s Word, we pray God’s Word and the central element is the declaration of God’s Word. We want our lives, the outreach of our church and the way we welcome people as a church to be determined not simply by good ideas but first and foremost by God’s Word. We value hearing from God. We value joyful and loving submission to God.
We prioritise welcoming people of all backgrounds and ages – people with faith or without faith – because God’s Word tells us that He has given each of us value by making us in His own image, because we want men, women and children to know the joy and peace of worshiping God and because we want God to be worshiped! The two greatest instructions God gives us in His Word are to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (which is part of worshiping Him) and to love others. This is why we prioritise loving those who come to our church by warmly welcoming them. It is important to us that both those who visit and those who have been a part of our church for many years feel that they are valued and loved.