Christ Church Methodist, Long Eaton

What we believe

Belief changes things.

Belief alters the way we think. Belief makes a difference to how we behave.  Belief makes a difference to how we live

The Methodist Way of Life from a recent publication,

  • Pray:               We pray daily.
  • Challenge:       We challenge injustice.
  • Tell:                 We tell of the love of God.
  • Care:                We care for ourselves and those around us.
  • Worship:         We worship with others regularly.
  • Flourish:          We care for creation and all God’s gifts.
  • Live:                 We live in a way that draws people to Jesus.
  • Learn:             We learn more about our faith.
  • Notice:            We notice God in Scripture, and the world.
  • Serve:              We will help people in our communities and beyond.
  • Share:              We share our faith.
  • Open:              We practise hospitality and generosity.

Where does Methodism sit in the history of the Christian church?  

Two thousand years of  history cannot be condensed into a single paragraph.  Of necessity, there are many over simplifications and generalisations.  Perhaps a  saving grace is that modern technology now allows us to explore in detail every facet of our faith and we encourage you to use it to supplement what follows.
Jesus Christ was a Jew born just over two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, in what is now Palestine. He was the son of a carpenter and at the age of thirty began to teach that the Jews had strayed from the way that God intended them to live and needed to reform. What He said  was not acceptable to the religious hierarchy and after three years He was put to death by crucifixion. His resurrection confirmed to His followers that He was indeed the Son of God. Initially Christianity was a sect of Judaism but the influx of Gentile followers, non-Jews, who did not convert to Judaism led to the separation of the followers of The Way from main stream Judaism.
Unsurprisingly, given their Jewish heritage, in a quest to deepen their faith, they began to examine their beliefs. Differences of interpretation led to separation and eventually agreement to go in different ways. In 1054  a major divergence took place when the eastern and western churches separated leaving the eastern church based in Constantinople and the western church in Rome. A second major split took place in 1517 when Martin Luther wrote to his bishop protesting against the sale of indulgences and sent him a copy of his ninety-five theses. Some of these criticised the Pope and he was eventually excommunicated in 1521. Luther’s writings and beliefs were spread widely and the churches in the various countries had to decide where they stood, Protestant or Catholic. In England, Henry VIII’s request to the Pope to dissolve his marriage had been refused. When he secretly married Ann Boleyn he was excommunicated. In response, in 1534, he pushed through the Act of Supremacy and made himself Head of the Church in England, meaning that the Pope no longer had religious authority in this country. England finally accepted Protestantism in 1559, six months after Elizabeth I ascended to the throne. Methodism was a reform movement within the Anglican Church and began in the 1730s.

What do Methodists believe?

Methodists will say that they have four pillars to their faith: the Ancient Creeds, the Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Methodist Hymn Book.
The creeds.
Methodists stand in the main stream of Christian doctrine and our core beliefs are summarised in the Apostles Creed.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


The Bible
Methodists believe that the Bible is the record of God’s self revelation, supremely in Jesus Christ, and is a means through which he still reveals himself, by the Holy Spirit.


Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God’s present activity in our midst. When we sense God’s leading, God’s challenge, or God’s support or comfort, we believe that it’s the Holy Spirit at work.
John Wesley wrote:
The Holy Spirit enlightens our understanding, rectifies our will and affections, renews our nature, unites us with Christ, assures our adoption as God’s children, guides our actions, purifies and sanctifies our souls and bodies, for the purpose of “full and eternal enjoyment of God.”
Methodist Hymn Book
Methodism has always valued hymns as a way of understanding its faith. Charles Wesley is supposed to have written over 6500 hymns in his lifetime, some of which are still in our hymn book today. John Wesley encouraged his followers to ‘sing lustily and with good courage’, an instruction which became a characteristic of Methodism. The hymn book is updated at regular intervals and new hymns are introduced, although sometimes  followed by disappoinment if some  old favourites are left out.

History of Methodism.

Methodism started in the 1730s as a revival movement within the Church of England. Although driven by the need for reform it was greatly fashioned by a clergyman, a remarkable man, named John Wesley. An academic at Oxford University, he formed and led the “Holy Club”, a society formed for the purpose of the study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life. They were very organised and disciplined in their spiritual lives, something which Wesley had learned as a child. People saw how they went regularly to the Holy Club and joked how ‘methodical’ they were and Wesley eventually adopted this as a name for the whole movement.
Despite his zeal for holiness Wesley always felt that there was something missing in his life. In 1738 at the age of 35 he had a transformative experience. He writes in his journal; –

“In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”


John Wesley’s writing and sermons shaped Methodism. The 44 “standard sermons” equipped Wesley’s lay preachers with “a solid doctrinal basis and boundary for homiletical proclamation”. They can, perhaps, be summarised in the “Four Alls” affirming, amongst other things, Methodism’s place in the Arminian tradition.

All need to be saved

All can be saved

All can know they are saved

All can be saved to the uttermost

The Methodist movement became increasingly independent. In 1784 Wesley gave legal status to his Conference. He also ordained ministers for America. The Bishop of London had refused to ordain ministers for this purpose, and Wesley felt he was forced to act.
Wesley died in 1791-still a clergyman of the Church of England. In 1795 the final break with the Anglican church took place with the Plan of Pacification asserting that Methodist preachers could administer the sacraments without having been ordained by the Church of England.