"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." – Margaret J. Wheatley
Jesus so impacted a small group of friends that a few short years later they were accused of turning the world upside down. When you read the story, it seems that they were in fact turning the world the right way up!
So as a community of Jesus followers, we want to see the world turned the right way up and to flourish - we believe that God brings this flourishing through local churches. This might be things we do together as a church (for example our food bank, supporting people in their workplaces or in many other ways).
Therefore we want to help everyone who comes through our doors grow and become the best version of themselves – to be fully alive. This growth comes as we connect with Jesus in a community of others who gather around Christ.
The way we seek to behave, how we are with one another, emerges from our understanding and experience of who God is, in being in His presence & as revealed in the Bible: it is how we find Him behaving towards us and He calls us to be like Him.
We act as a family in Christ
We are committed to pursuing healthy, committed and authentic relationships, seeking to encourage and release each other into our individual callings, being together as we journey through life.
We treat people with dignity
We honour the image of God in each person, seeking to treat people with respect & grace, and calling each of us to be the best of ourselves.
We seek togetherness while respecting our differences
We pursue unity in our worship and in our mission, whilst listening openly to those we disagree with, and honouring one another's views, perspectives and experiences.
We don’t have a statement of faith that we ask people to subscribe to. We gather around Jesus, and our faith in Him, so we do sometimes recite the Apostle’s creed as a way of declaring this faith in Jesus.
There are some theological convictions that we hold passionately, expressed simply as being:
- Jesus focused – Jesus reveals what God is like. We seek to journey towards Jesus/God and be more like him.
- Presence loving – We focus on His presence in our gatherings and in our lives and God delights to be with us and we with Him.
- Scripture centred – the Bible holds a central place in spiritual nourishment, formation and theological understanding.
- Kingdom orientated – the church seeks to serve what God is doing in establishing His Kingdom.
- Spirit led– The Holy Spirit’s leading, gifts and activity are given a central place in our community.
- Missionally committed– we seek the personal transformation of people as they experience the grace of God and seeing the Kingdom come in our society.
Our roots go back to a Pentecostal church in the 1970s, called City Temple.
In the late ’70s, the church went through a significant period of change which resulted in a formation of an independent church called Edinburgh City Fellowship (ECF) and much of what we now take for granted was birthed in that era: an emphasis on worship and presence of God; the belief that God speaks today; concern for the marginalised and the poor; multi-voiced church; a relational and non-hierarchical approach to leadership. In those days, this was radical!
The church grew with lots of young people and students and started planting other churches outside Edinburgh. It was also a hub for training and teaching, with many international teachers & preachers coming to the church.
There were some more difficult points in our history, especially in 2000 when a significant disagreement among the leadership means some folks left and we changed our name to Community Church Edinburgh (CCE). These painful points in our story have positively shaped who we are now, for example in our commitment to handling differences well.
More recently, we have transitioned leadership successfully, with Colin Symes handing on team leadership to Rupert Ward in 2014 and then retiring from his remunerated service in CCE in 2020.
Our story continues to unfold, led by the Spirit and a desire to be a relevant church for our time and context, but always built on the foundations all those years ago.