Who we are
A warm welcome to Wilstead Evangelical Church. We are a family-friendly church that believes the Bible and seeks to serve our local community. We’re made up of people of all ages from a variety of backgrounds.
We would love to welcome you to our Sunday services (11am and 6:30pm). These are open to anyone, whatever your background or beliefs. Our aim is to explain what the Bible says in a clear and helpful way.
There’s lots more going on too. If you live in Wilstead, you should receive an invitation to our popular Carols in the village hall through your door each Christmas. And you may well have seen our October half term Holiday Bible Club advertised. (To find out more see Special events.)
Church is a group of people, not a building or set of activities. Why not find out more about how knowing Jesus Christ has changed the lives of people from our church? (See Real lives.)
A bit about our history
Our church was first founded over 100 years ago, when several people from the village began meeting together in Cotton End Road. In 1894 they bought the land where our current building still stands and built the Wilstead Mission Hall (as it was known). Older Wilstead residents who grew up in the village may remember the old galvanised metal building behind the butcher’s shop.
1954 saw the old metal walls replaced with brick, and the church has since been renamed Wilstead Evangelical Church. The Sunday School has been running for many decades, and seen many faces over the years. As a church, we’ve grown in size, but our emphasis is still the same: sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with young, old and anyone in between!
What does 'evangelical' mean?
The word ‘Evangelical’ may seem unusual, but it is included in the name of our church for two important reasons:
- It comes from the word ‘evangel’ meaning ‘good news’ – and that’s exactly what the Christian message is all about. The Bible’s teaches that we can be forgiven by God for all our wrong and receive eternal life, through the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross. It is a gift from God, not something we can earn ourselves by being a good person or being religious. This message is key to everything we do as a church. (To find out more, see Big questions.)
- Over time, the word ‘evangelical’ has been adopted by people who believe that the Bible is God’s Word – true, reliable and life-changing in its message. We have the same high view of the Bible and want to identify with all those who have stood for this throughout history.
Mark was a flying instructor for most of his career, and also spent a number of years in East Africa flying for a missionary organisation. He is married to Angela and they have four grown up children.
Mark first heard the Christian message as a teenager on a summer camp. Until that point he had believed that the Bible only offered dead religion, but now came to realise that it was possible to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Andrew worked for Unilever as a Research Chemist for many years, and more laterly for the Royal Mail. His is married to Lynda and they have three grown up children.
Until his mid twenties, Andrew was sure that science had all the answers. However a death in the family prompted him to ask questions and find out more about what the Bible says. He became convinced it was true and trusted in its message.
Can Jesus Christ really make a difference in people’s lives today? What does a relationship with God actually look like? Below, some people from our church tell their own story.
Info coming shortly
Info coming shortly
Info coming shortly
As a church, we regularly send money to provide practical help to people in other countries. Over the past few years, these have included:
Water Project in PNG
The local water table had dropped meaning that the water in the old well at Sobega, a village in Papua New Guinea, was nearing the bottom. Drilling a new well would have a huge impact on the local community and surrounding area were drinking fresh clean water is vital for good health.
Poverty in Armenia
In 2018, 23.5% of the population of Armenia were living below the national poverty line. Some have to survive freezing cold winters without electricity or running water. Armenian Ministries seeks to provide assistance to those living in poverty by distributing amongst other things, clothing, food and firewood.
Orphans in India
Indian Government statistics estimate that 11 million children work and sleep on the streets every day in India. The Metropolitan Mission seeks to care for orphans and needy children in their community. They have done this by establishing a children’s home and primary school which is now caring for over 300 children. Growing up in the children’s home has given these children the opportunity to further their education with a significant proportion of them going on to college or university courses, something before they would never have dreamed of.
One of the biggest challenges for the children’s home is the procurement of rice for the children. 1000 bags of rice, each weighing 75kg is needed every year. In addition to this there are all the other costs of electricity and other necessities.
What we believe
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word, and so our statement of faith is a summary of its key teachings.
There is one, true and living God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in His holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator, Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to His sovereign will for His own glory (Revelation 4:11).
God has revealed Himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human writers, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine (John 17:17). The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice. To achieve a true perspective on life, and to avoid being taken in by fanciful ideas, people should test all things against the teaching of Scripture. The key to true Christian growth does not come through psychological experience, but through obedience to what the Bible teaches (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The human race
All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth (Genesis 1:27). Their greatest purpose is to love and obey God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are without spiritual life, guilty sinners and hostile to God (Romans 5:12). Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true (John 1:1-14). On the cross he died in the place of sinners, redeeming them by his blood (Romans 3:22-25). He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father.
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in His love forgives sinners whom He calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life. The peace which comes through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is permanent and spiritual (Romans 5:1), even in times of affliction, and regardless of how good or bad we may feel.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives true understanding of the Scriptures (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit indwells and works in the lives of all believers, giving power for worship, fellowship and practical Christian service. A Christian should expect to see evidence in their life that they are a true Christian: a desire to pray, sorrow for sin and true repentance, a love for other Christians, an ongoing inner assurance of salvation, an increased likeness to Christ, and a desire for complete obedience to the will of God as revealed in the Bible (Romans 8:14-16).
Many people think of a church as a building or ecclesiastical organisation. However, the Bible says that the true church consists of believers who are obedient to the authority of Scripture and the doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, who base their salvation on the atoning blood of Christ, and whose head is Christ (Colossians 1:18). God’s plan is that believers meet together for the worship of God, teaching from the Bible, prayer, mutual help, fellowship, and evangelism. Believers should seek to serve the Lord with the talents he has given them and to obey the Lord’s command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). The unity of the church of Christ is expressed within and between local churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. Jesus Christ warned against false religion which is based on external ceremonies, meritorious works and personal revelations.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Believers are baptised, in obedience to the command of Christ, as the symbol of a new life with Christ and burial of their old life; baptism itself cannot make someone a christian (Romans 6:3,4). The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration, held at Christ’s command, of his sacrifice offered once for all, 2,000 years ago (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The elements remain the same throughout the Lord’s Supper and do not change. All the blessings of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are received by faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10). God will make all things new and will be glorified for ever.
Find out more
We would really encourage you to learn more about what God says in the Bible. One of the best ways is listening to someone explain the Bible, and our Sunday morning family service is designed for this purpose. You’re always welcome to join us. (See Sunday services.)
We have found that the Bible is totally reliable and gives answers that make sense. Through God’s word you too can find a living and personal faith. (Find out more in Big questions.)
If you have any questions or would like to talk about what the Bible teaches, please feel free to talk to anyone from the church or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joining with other churches and organisations
We are an independent church, not belonging to any denomination. However, we enjoy close friendship with other evangelical churches and organisations both locally and nationally, supporting them and working together. We also identify ourselves with evangelical Christians from various traditions, and from all over the world.
Occasionally we are asked to join ecumenical events, to which a large number of churches are invited, regardless of where they stand on key beliefs. Without wishing to show any personal disrespect for the people involved, our policy is to not join such events.
Sadly, today many senior religious leaders in the UK deny key biblical truths, such as the virgin birth of Christ, the sinlessness of Christ, the substitutionary and final atonement by Christ on the cross, the physical resurrection of Christ and the personal return of Christ to this world.
By joining together with groups who follow this lead, we would undermine the importance of these central truths. For this reason, we do not feel able to join in a service or with an organisation that does not hold to these truths or give the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross the highest importance.
Our view of what is appropriate to join or not join is based on both past experience and our own research. However, if we have misunderstood where a group stands, please do contact us to discuss it.