The overall purpose of Ferryhill Parish Church is to be a vital witness to Christ Jesus by:
- making worship the central feature of the life of congregation and parish,
- developing understanding of the Christian faith,
- enhancing and strengthening an inclusive fellowship so that all feel they belong and have a part to play,
- responding in relevant and practical ways to the needs of congregation and parish,
- and contributing directly and indirectly to the wider work of the Church at home and abroad.
This statement was adopted by the Kirk Session as encouragement to the congregation to see that it exists not simply for itself but to serve the parish in which it worships.
Ferryhill Parish Church
Ferryhill Parish Church is part of the national Church of Scotland which acknowledges its distinctive call and duty to bring the ordinances of religion to the people of every parish of Scotland through a territorial ministry. The Parish of Ferryhill has a population of between five and six thousand people. The number on the roll of communicants (often referred to as the congregation) is around 450.
Services of worship are open to all. The Church of Scotland also applies an open table policy to services of Holy Communion in that they are open to those who are not communicant members of the congregation. It is also possible for children to participate fully in services of Holy Communion.
The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian which means that its affairs are administered by a hierarchy of church courts the senior of which is the General Assembly. At Parish level, the Kirk Session, made up of the parish minister and all the elders, administers the affairs of the congregation and parish. Elders are elected and ordained for life. Parishes are grouped into a Presbytery whose membership consists of all the ministers and deacons together with an equal number of elders. The General Assembly also has parity between ministerial and diaconal members and elders. Ferryhill Parish Church also has a Congregational Board which looks after the finances and property.
The Parish Minister
A Parish Minister does not serve only those who are members of a congregation but all who live in the parish and who seek the services provided by the Church, for example, Holy Baptism (administered at any age) , Marriage and funeral services. Anyone wishing information about Holy Baptism being married in Church or becoming a member of the congregation should contact the church.
In the Church of Scotland there are a number of Statements of Faith or Creeds used from ancient forms like the Nicene Creed to more modern statements. We recognise that no such statement can fully contain all of what faith means to us as individuals or as a community, but we nonetheless recognise the importance of sharing together some of our core beliefs.
The following Statement of Christian Faith was agreed by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1992.
A Statement of Christian Faith
We believe in one God:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God is love.
We praise God the Father:
who created the universe and keeps it in being.
He has made us his sons and daughters
to share his joy,
living together in justice and peace,
caring for his world and for each other.
We proclaim Jesus Christ, God the Son:
born of Mary,
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
he became one of us,
sharing our life and our death.
He made known God’s compassion and mercy,
giving hope and declaring forgiveness of sin,
offering healing and wholeness for all.
By his death on the cross and by his resurrection,
he has triumphed over evil.
Jesus is Lord of life and of all creation.
We trust God the Holy Spirit:
who unites us to Christ
and gives life to the Church;
who brings us to repentance
and assures us of forgiveness.
The Spirit guides us in our understanding of the bible,
renews us in the sacraments,
and calls us to serve God in the world.
We rejoice in the gift of eternal life:
we have sure and certain hope
of resurrection through Christ,
and we look for his coming again
to judge the world.
Then all things will be made new;
and creation will rejoice in worshipping the Father,
through the Son,
in the power of the Spirit,
one God, blessed for ever. Amen.