Walsworth Road Baptist Church Hitchin

What Do We Believe?

“Five Core Values” is a Baptist Union resource offered to help churches explore what it means to be a local congregation following Christ and living as a Gospel people.  We have added a sixth core value, as we believe it reflects something additional and something significant about our life together in Christ at WRBC, Hitchin.

Jesus says:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”.  He calls us to be a worshipping community, offering all to God in prayer. We seek to encounter God in our gatherings for worship and prayer and to encourage one another in our lives of personal devotion.  Each service of worship and every prayer gathering is prayerfully prepared as an event and an opportunity for God to make himself known, and for us to make known his great love for us.  We share each month in times of prayer for our children, young people and the church’s work amongst them, and for our neighbours (& neighbourhood & nation), and arrange occasional prayer gatherings in support of world mission, especially the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS).  In 2013 we shared in a townwide 24/7 prayer week, which was a really helpful exercise, if also rather a demanding one!

Jesus says:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”.  He calls us to a missionary community, making known to all the redeeming love of God.
In our worship we seek to respond to God’s love, telling him how great he is; in our mission, we seek to respond to God’s love by telling others too!  The church has developed a valued place of trust and recognition within the town, and we have shared in a variety of local mission initiatives and projects.  We have coordinated a town-wide Christmas Shoebox Project with Smile International (with around 1000 shoeboxes in each of the past four years, gathered through local schools and churches).  We support mission locally through PHASE (the Hitchin Churches Schools Worker Trust), nationally through the Baptist Union of Great Britain’s Home Mission, and internationally through BMS World Mission with our finance, giving away at least 10% of our annual income to other missionary causes.  In recent years a number of individuals have been overseas on a variety of short-term mission trips, and we also had a church team of seven people going to Kosova in the summer of 2013.

Jesus says:  “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”.  He calls us to be a sacrificial community, generously giving from all that God has given us.
There are many services offered across the church family both within the life of the church and beyond: there is a team of early risers providing breakfast for secondary school youngsters every morning in term-time (since 2008), and there are various members involved in Hitchin Street Angels on duty in the town centre well beyond midnight on Saturday nights.  The commitment to pastoral care of the church has been tested by the scale and variety of situations that we face together, but visits have been made, prayer has been shared, and meals have been provided especially to encourage the lonely and the disappointed.  The generous giving of the church family has enabled us to improve, upgrade and extend the church premises substantially, and all without recourse to loans – thanks be to God!

Jesus says:  “Anyone who comes to me, I will never turn away”.  He calls us to be an inclusive community, sharing with all the hospitality of God’s kingdom.
We are a mixed group of people with a range of diversity ethnically, age-wise, and economically; we have a group of young adults with learning difficulties regularly at worship, and helped initiate a support group for local families with a child with Down’s Syndrome which has become a thriving charity.  We seek to follow Jesus’ own lead in not judging others and never turning anyone away, but we also believe in the traditional definition of marriage as the lifelong partnership of one man and one woman.

Jesus says:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to proclaim good news to the poor”.  He calls us to be a prophetic community, challenging the powers that oppress, and the values that corrupt.
Issues of justice and freedom abound in our world.  We have been a Fair Trade church for a number of years, and have encouraged reflection on and practice of more sustainable lifestyles through a commitment of care for creation as well as respect for the creator.  We support the work of Christian Aid (in particular through the annual red envelope doorstep collection), Operation Agri (especially at Harvest) and Bible Society.  That we are free to worship where brothers and sisters in Christ in other lands experience persecution is a regular matter for prayer

Jesus says:   “Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give you.”  He calls us to be a healing community, to receive the wholeness of his grace to allow the restoring of our brokenness, and to be the channels of his wholeness to those we encounter.  “Peace” has been the word on the very threshold of our buildings; people have come in seeking peace at times of pain and loss, (and have so often found it), and people have gone out bearing peace for themselves and for others.  To be part of God’s purposes today for blessing people in our world with his wholeness is our calling and our privilege.