Worship at Witton Chapel
Our worship services are traditional in format following the New Testament pattern of giving prominence to the preaching of God's Word and including the offering of public prayer and praise to God who is to be served with "reverence and godly fear" (Heb 12:28).
We use the 'Authorised Version' (King James Version) of the Holy Bible, believing it still to be the most accurate and faithful translation of God's Word out of the original languages.
Our hymns are to be found in 'Grace Hymns' which includes a great number of well-established hymns used by the Christian Church over the centuries.
Our Faith and Practice
Witton Chapel is probably best described as
Our faith and practice are prayerfully based upon the Bible and this description reflects something of the attempt to summarise our beliefs in a succinct and informative way. A short explanation of this description is given below but a good summary of our doctrinal position may be found in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
Witton Chapel is:
We believe in the autonomy of the local church. The Church at Witton Chapel is independent of any Church hierarchy or denominational structure and is self-governed. Elders are chosen from amongst the members to fulfil the teaching, ruling, preaching and pastoring roles identified in Scripture.
The Evangelical position depends on the principle of 'sola scriptura': that is, the view that Scripture is the Word of God and is the only and sufficient guide in all matters of our faith and practice.
Evangelicals affirm the doctrine of 'grace', that God forgives sinners because He is gracious and that His grace is free and unmerited.
An Evangelical believes that we are are justified by faith alone in Christ; that is we are declared righteous and therefore saved from the consequences of sin.
Evangelicals declare that we are saved and accepted by God only because Christ was punished in our place. It is by faith in Christ alone that we are saved, through the merits of Christ alone. In addition to this doctrinal position, there is a distinctively Evangelical life. An Evangelical seeks to live by Scripture, seeks to live for God, and seeks to declare the gospel message to all.
By using the title 'reformed' we are attempting to convey two main thoughts.
Firstly, we are identifying ourselves with the body of theological beliefs that is commonly referred to as the 'Reformed Faith'. This understanding of the Bible's message was articulated by the Reformers during the 16th century Reformation in Europe. It includes the truths that are upheld by the Evangelical position described above but it also includes an emphasis on the 'Doctrines of Grace' that speak of such truths as 'the total depravity' of man without Christ and the 'limited' or 'particular' nature of God's election of sinners to salvation.
Secondly, we are indicating our desire to undergo continual reformation. There is no perfect church, either in belief or practice, and we seek to be submissive to God's Word, as modern day reformers.
Adopting the title 'Baptist' indicates our practice of baptising believers on profession of their faith in Christ. We believe that baptism is to be undertaken by believers only and that it is properly administered by immersion.