from members of the Thurrock Leaders Prayer group who are facilitating the Thurrock Pentecost 2016 event.
This spoken act represents an historic moment for the borough of Thurrock. Other than constitutional bodies like Churches Together In Grays (disbanded in c.2000), there has been nothing like this in recent times. The following is not a formal constitution but a relational agreement. It is soberly soaked in God’s love and Christ’s friendship.
If you are in church leadership and find yourself agreeing with this, and are prepared to let the barriers down and work towards removing obstacles to unity, then you are more than welcome to join with us (and if you can’t, send a representative).
The details of the Thurrock Pentecost 2016 event can be found after the Declaration.
The photo shows the old beacon at The Garrision, Purfleet, erected in 1988 to comemorate the 400th anniversary of The Armada. The borough shield has since been replaced. The plaque on the post reads: “Fire Over England“.
The following document has been collated by David Bareham of Community Church from conversations among the TLP group and sources such as the Evangelical Alliance.
Tim Harrold to lead.
We believe in the unity of the church and want to declare that unity in three areas, our purpose, doctrine, and fellowship. I invite leaders, or their representatives, of the different fellowships in Thurrock to stand with me as we make this declaration together.
Leaders and representatives to join Tim at the front
Different people will read the following:
We commit to unity of Purpose
We believe that the church in Thurrock is here to:
- Worship God
- He is the focus of our lives, the Lord over everything that we are, and everything that we do. When we gather together and when we are apart, we will worship God as Lord and Saviour over His Church.
- Prayer is a powerful weapon. We will pray for our borough that Jesus will be declared and glorified through His church.
- Share Jesus with all people
- We are all witnesses to the death and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We will declare His love through works, wonders and words, believing that the Gospel has a power to save today, in Thurrock.
- Make disciples
- We are called to be disciples who help others to become more like Jesus.
- Transform Thurrock
- We will pray and work to see our borough transformed for Jesus. We want to be agents of change, seeing our love for God making a radical difference in our local communities.
We commit to unity of Doctrine
(Taken this from the EAUK web site)
We believe in:
- The one true God who lives eternally in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
- The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God – fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
- The dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
- The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ – born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
- The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
- The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
- The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
- The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
- The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers – given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
- The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
We commit to unity of Fellowship
We commit to:
- Pray for the church in Thurrock
- To pray for every fellowship and its leaders, including those who do not engage with us.
- Seek biblical truth
- We acknowledge that there are some matters of practice that are not the same, however, we commit to be charitable with one another. In all matters we will seek guidance through the Holy Spirit, humbly sharing and learning from each other.
- Honour and speak well of each other
- We will always honour and speak well of another fellowship, and its leaders. If there is any misunderstanding between us we will first confer directly with our fellow brother or sister to establish what was actually intended. We will believe the best, be charitable, and work in grace and unity at all times.
- Support each other
- When required we will carry one anothers burdens, be instruments of comfort and sustenance to our brothers and sisters and to other fellowships.
- Rejoice and celebrate together
- We will all rejoice and celebrate when one does well, sees breakthrough, sees growth, or salvation.
Tim to read:
It is with this attitude and humility of heart that we commit to each other, so that in unity, Jesus will be glorified, Holy Spirit will have free reign, and God will restore and renew Thurrock, for His Name’s sake.
Leaders and Representatives will say together:
“Jesus is Lord!”
One Church, one Lord!
We stand together to declare that we are committed to the church of God and to celebrate the unity that He has given us, and to seek continued and even greater unity between all the church communities represented in Thurrock.
We turn from and refuse suspicion, superiority and exclusivity – all things that block the flow of blessing across our borough, and we release the blessing for life evermore over Thurrock.
We thank Jesus that He is joining our hearts and hands together in even greater measure, and that we are seeing the Kingdom of God coming in increasing fullness in Thurrock.
There will then be a symbolic act of unity
Tim will then invite everyone to pray, lay hands, prophecy, of the church of Thurrock and its leaders.