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The Christian life is a life lived in a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is a journey of exploration and discovery, travelling in community with other Christians as part of the church seeking together to deepen that relationship and to follow the way that Jesus taught.
Being a Christian is not about following rules or feeling that you are better than the people around you. It isn’t a guarantee of an easy life or a way of being happy and healthy all the time. Being a Christian means you are someone who has discovered the immense love of God for us as individuals and for all people and creation. Being a Christian means responding to that love by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ – that means that a Christian life is centred on spending time in prayer (time with God) and taking part in God’s mission on earth (mission is showing love where love isn’t).
For Christians God is understood and known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Father: God is love, caring for creation and for every human being as God's beloved child.
Son: God is as he has revealed himself to be in the historical person of Jesus Christ. Jesus' life, death and resurrection holds the key to knowing and loving God, and to making sense of life, before and after death.
Holy Spirit: God is alive, loving and active today, inspiring faith, justice and truth, sustaining the life of the world, giving spiritual gifts to the church and bearing his spiritual fruit in the world - changed lives and a transformed society.
Everyone’s journey of faith is unique and of course each Christian person remains a unique individual, made in the likeness of God. When people join the church and start to follow Jesus they do not become perfect overnight nor do they become clones. People read the Bible in different ways, worship in different ways, and hold differing views on politics, morals and social issues. You can read some stories of people's faith journey here.
In the Gospels, Jesus encouraged people that followed him (his disciples) to meet together and to this day most Christians find that it helps them in their journey of faith to be part of a Christian community (church). All churches are different and you may not feel you fit in the first church you visit. Some churches are particularly suited to families with young children, some use modern ways of worshipping while others are more traditional. While you may want to visit several churches in your area your local parish church could be a good place to start. Find your parish church here.
The Church of England is made up of communities of Christians in every corner of the land. Most of these communities can be found via the parish church buildings, which are usually easily recognisable. There are around 180 parishes in the Birmingham Diocese – the network of parishes covers the entire country meaning everyone has a parish church, a priest and a local community of Christians to which they can belong.
Many Anglicans now meet in other groups which are not based on geography but on other factors such as culture, ethnicity, age or interests. You can find out more about this type of church at www.freshexpressions.org.uk. Or they seek to serve particular groups of people and to find their Christian identity alongside them.
Other Anglicans are committed to traditional religious communities, whether as monks and nuns or as people associated with those communities. Many of these communities welcome people seeking a quiet space to pray and reflect for a day or longer. A list of local religious communities in the Birmingham Diocese can be found here.
You can also learn more about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection by reading the Bible - why not start with one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in the New Testament? Other helpful books are listed in the Recommended Reading section on the resources page.
There are also online communities of Christians who use the resources of the web to make contact. Some of these are listed in the resources section. Other websites such as www.rejesus.co.uk and www.christianity.org.uk are great for learning more about prayer, faith and Christian belief.
But because Christianity is about relationship and community, the best way to find out about faith and prayer, to raise questions and to get help, is to meet other Christians, perhaps through your local church or by joining a special course or attending an event for people wanting to know more about Christianity.
Please browse the Exploring Faith section of our website to find out more. Courses and events are listed and there are resources for you to help you begin a journey of faith. If you need help in your journey please do not hesitate to email me in the communications office and I will try and put you in touch with someone who can help you.