As a church, our vision is
To grow a dynamic Christian church
serving communities from the South Downs to the sea.
This can be broken down and explained further as follows.
This refers to our desire for Grace Church to increase in terms of numbers and also for each individual member to grow in maturity; it means that the church is a work in progress. Growth means that we will go through many times of change. We need to be people who are accustomed to changing and adapting the way that we do our church life and ministry. Change is here to stay!
Dynamic speaks of movement, change and power. We want to build a church with a positive attitude and a desire to have a positive effect on those we come into contact with. We want to affect not only those within Grace Church, but also the world around us for God’s kingdom. To do this we need God to empower us by His Holy Spirit so we can live as He calls us to in every area of our lives – at work, at home and everywhere we go.
Jesus loves the church. Building a Christian church means that we want to build Grace Church in line with the pattern of church we see in the New Testament, and not in accordance with a man-made denominational pattern. This affects every area of our church life, including things like our leadership structure, our approach to baptism, membership, worship, discipleship, mission, giving, serving, decision making, prayer, breaking bread together, the Bible and our expectation for God to move among us in power through the work of the Holy Spirit. We want to build a ‘word and Spirit’ church – both honouring the Bible as God’s word for today, and making space for the gifts and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that the local church is the hope of the world, and with this in mind, we believe there should be dynamic church congregations in every city, town and village in every nation of the world! To play our part in this we want to establish congregations (sites) in each of the different areas where God has given us influence, so that each area is well served. We also want to see churches planted beyond our immediate area, across the UK and into the nations of the world. We also believe that every church congregation should be involved with serving their local community, getting involved in appropriate social action in many different ways. We call these GraceWorks.
‘…from the South Downs to the sea.’
We are not here to reach out to one housing estate or one segment of society. We want to reach everyone who lives within our area of influence with the good news about Jesus. One of the ways we are working this out is through our ‘multisite’ approach to church life, with sites currently in Chichester, Bognor Regis and Midhurst.