So what is a “Community Church”?:
They have been around for a long time, probably as long as Christianity itself.
Though they come in many shapes and sizes, they tend to have certain things in common that distinguishes them from the established denominations, such as the Anglican and Methodist churches.
They often are led by ordinary folk who, though recognised as experienced Christians, have not gone through official training and ordination. That is the case with our church. Ours is a relatively informal gathering of friends, bringing together our various skills and talents without hierarchies and labels.
Community churches often don’t meet in a typical church building. Many rent facilities in local community halls, schools or, in the case of smaller congregations, just meet in people’s homes.
Going back to New Testament times, the apostle Paul writes about a church that meets in the house of two Christians, Priscilla and Aquila (Romans 16:5)
In past times, community churches sprang up in places where there was no other church. Many appeared in North America, as pioneers spread across the continent. In some parts of the world, this may still be the case.
In countries such as ours, where today there are already lots of churches, they often provide a spiritual home for those Christians who want to have fellowship, but are looking for something less formal than what the major denominations offer.
Community churches, however, are ‘proper’ churches in that they are centred on the salvation provided by Jesus Christ . They follow his teaching and the principle of church life set out in the New Testament.
There are two community churches in March. The Fenland Community Church, which centres on the needs of people with a learning difficulty, meets in the Scout Hut near Sainsburys supermarket. Our church, the March Community Church, rents facilities in the town Community Centre.
Though neither church is part of a major denomination, we don’t exist in isolation. Both have friendships with other churches in the region. Both are active members of Churches Together In March.
March Community Church has a fairly consistent congregation, most of whom are present every Sunday. There are others who come to see us from time to time. On occasions the church has joint services with other churches in the town.
We like to see ourselves as a family, with friends and relatives. We don’t want our church to be one where people feel under pressure, but one that offers a welcome to anyone wishing to follow Jesus.