The Christian Faith
St Paul’s Cathedral seeks to enable people in all their diversity to encounter the transforming presence of God in Jesus Christ.
The Church has been described as a ‘school for relating’, a place where humans can learn to relate more deeply to God, other people and themselves.
The Church is made up of a wide diversity of people across the world and we often have different views, but what we agree on is what matters
As the creator of all that is, God loves us all with a generosity and faithfulness beyond our understanding. God invites us to trust that love and to live life with a faith which, though often confused or doubtful, is a journey on which we learn more about God’s reality, mystery and passion for us and all his creation. Christians believe that it was in Jesus Christ that the face of God was most clearly seen. God was made visible in him by becoming human. The life, teachings, death and resurrection of Christ all communicate the endless love and creativity of God, working against what is evil in humanity with a fidelity towards his creation which not even death can challenge.
God’s reckless and sacrificial love, seen in Jesus, continues to breathe life into the Church and world through God’s Holy Spirit, comforting us and challenging us to live as authentic followers of Christ with faith, hope and love. The Spirit relentlessly confronts all our fantasies and prejudices with truth. We read about the ways in which God has related to his stubborn, fragile and complex people in the pages of the Bible - a collection of sacred texts in which we read God’s love between the lines and are inspired by the faith of those before us. It is a book which not so much answers all our questions as questions all our answers by voicing a wisdom and imagination that show the limits of believing the world is ultimately here by pure chance.
Jesus said that people should be able to tell a follower of his by the love that person has for others. Christian spirituality teaches us that a human self is most itself when not being selfish. In his life on earth, Jesus upheld the dignity of each person he encountered, especially those who were marginalised, disliked, blamed and suffered forms of discrimination. Jesus entrusted his future in the world to his friends, his followers, and therefore the Church now seeks to oppose all that desecrates humans and all that threatens justice, peace, the common good and the future of the environment.
One of the earliest followers of Jesus, St Paul, wrote that God’s Spirit reveals himself in human beings in love, joy, peace, forbearance,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (letter to the Galatians 5, 22-23).
Christian faith believes that God has given us each the gift of being and that the gift we are asked to give in return is our becoming, who we become as human beings. God loves us just the way we are but God loves so much he doesn’t want us to stay like that. Our life is a consistent, sometimes painful, turning towards God’s truth and love. This is often called ‘conversion of life’. This conversion begins for the Christian with baptism when all the voices of the world that would grab our attention, the messages that would belittle or control us, are drowned out under the water. We emerge with a new take of breath and we now listen to the only voice which matters, the one which comes from God saying that we are loved, cherished and of great value. Our life is then an invitation to live up to this truth and not to live down to all the other things that people would like us to believe about ourselves.
What Christians do
As well as having water poured over their head in baptism, Christians also read the Bible, gather to share bread and wine together in memory of the death and resurrection of Christ (known as the Eucharist, Mass or Lord’s Supper), and pray. These four basic activities have remained constant and indispensable for the majority of those who call themselves Christians. They nourish and feed the life of faith so that we can be more faithful to our calling to imitate Jesus Christ in our own 21st century.
To discover more about these activities we encourage you to talk with a Christian, your local parish clergy or with a priest in the Cathedral when
Want to read more?
We recommend ‘Being Christian’ by Rowan Williams (SPCK, 2014) as a short introduction to living as a Christian today.