We strive to be a place where the diversity of Christian belief and understanding can flourish so that we can witness with authority and integrity to the love of Jesus Christ in the world.
St Martin-in-the-Fields, at the edge of Trafalgar Square in London’s West End, is sometimes called the ‘Church of the Ever Open Door’. This speaks volumes about what we believe. We are a committed Christian community in the Anglican tradition, yet we remain open to, and are affected by, the questions of those who visit us, whether those visitors walk with us for a moment or a life-time, whether they come to us from the street or the City or from across the world. We believe in God made known to us in the humanity of Jesus of Nazareth, so that we actively seek His face in those around us.
We believe in God who creates and sustains all things, so that we return regularly to worship for rest and renewal. We believe in God who animates, energises and inspires us, so that we translate our faith into enquiry and wonder about the world. Standing firmly in the historic breadth of Christianity in the Anglican Church, yet rooted humbly in the awareness of our own boundaries and limitations, we strive to welcome all, to include all.
Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin’s explores here how that inclusive welcome gives us hope, in response to the recent Primates statement.
Ten Point Charter
We believe in and proclaim both the mystery that is God, whom we partly know and partly do not know, and the human need to worship.
We believe in and proclaim the person of Jesus Christ who distinctively reveals the nature of God and the meaning and purpose of life, and who calls us to follow him through the death of the cross to the place of Resurrection.
We trust in the Holy Spirit who prompts liberty, beauty, truth, love and joy against the waywardness of human nature.
We are committed to using the Bible in a way that takes account of all truth and relates it to the real experiences, both good and bad, that people have of life.
We are committed to a Church that conveys the Christian revelation in signs and symbols, particularly in the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.
We are committed to exploring the meaning of the Kingdom of God and to making connections between what we profess and the way in which we live and work.
We draw inspiration from our patron saint St Martin who, by cutting his cloak in two, demands that we look both at the resource that we create and possess, and the way that it is shared.
We are committed to taking all people seriously wherever they might be at their particular point of understanding, while at the same time sharing with them whatever insights may have been gained by our relationship with God.
We acknowledge the destructive power of human sinfulness, and we welcome gratefully the forgiveness that God offers to those who are prepared to turn to the truth.
We are committed to identifying and affirming what is good and identifying and opposing what is evil, and living as best we can in the mess in the middle.
The Wider Context
Healing the Earth – St Martin’s care for the environment
St Martin’s is committed as a church to make a response to environmental concerns a priority, and to steward our resources carefully and efficiently. This links to the Diocese of London’s Environmental Challenge, which aims to cut the carbon footprint of London churches, in order to lessen the impact of churches and people on the environment and God’s creation. Read the St Martin’s Environmental Sustainability Policy.
The inclusive welcome of St Martin-in-the-Fields attracts many LGBT Christians to belong. For discussion of the issues which most concern us we join with Changing Attitude (Greater London) for evening meetings in the crypt (the Desmond Tutu Room or St Martin’s Hall) at 7.00pm up to five times a year. This group for LGBT Christians, their families, friends and supporters, aims to both create support for attenders and opportunities to change attitudes prejudiced against LGBT people within the Anglican Church and beyond. Recent speakers have included Nicola Slee, Sharon Ferguson, Dilly Baker, James Alison and Andrew Nunn. For further information please contact Revd Clare Herbert at email@example.com who is the London Co-Convener. This group, with National Changing Attitude , works with the LGBT Anglican Coalition to effect change and increase communication among LGBT Christians.
The Anglican Communion
With its unique position in the heart of London and its long-standing links across the world, St Martin’s strives to play an active role within the wider church.
Through our relationships with churches and individuals in a number of different countries, we particularly seek to encourage dialogue and understanding within the Anglican Communion.