We are a group of people living in Guernsey who have experienced the love of Jesus Christ, and seek to live the way he has taught us in his Word, the Bible. As we are ordinary people, like everybody else our failings are always evident, but we continue to press on in the knowledge that God forgives, and works to change, those who ask Him.
Among the people who make up the church, there is a deep commitment to honour and serve God in every area of our lives; to care for, and encourage one another; and to share our faith with others, through loving actions and timely words.
The Church has been in existence for over 200 years, being founded in 1816. It’s official name is La Villiaze Evangelical Congregational Church.
By Evangelical we want to show that we are committed to the Bible to shape our lives both individually and corporately in line with its teaching; and that we desire to share its core message with others about the radical, transforming Good News (the Gospel) about Jesus Christ and who he his, and what he has and continues to do for us.
By Congregational we mean that we are an independent church that is self-governing. We believe the Bible teaches that each individual Church has its own local leadership and is answerable directly to Jesus Christ, and not any other church or overseeing body. This does not mean that each Church is isolated from others. We have friendly relationships with many other local churches on the Island and throughout the world.
We would also identify ourselves as a Reformed Church. This is an historical reference. It means that if we were to give a detailed account of what we believe (a Statement of Faith, as they are known) it would be almost identical to those written in the period of history know as the Reformation (16th Century) by such men as John Calvin. Our Pastor identifies the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith as the clearest detailed summary of what he believes the Bible teaches.
When we gather together to worship, we seek to do so simply and respectfully, through the singing of traditional hymns; heart-felt, spontaneous prayers; reading the Bible and hearing it explained and applied to our lives in a sermon. As a church we use the Authorised King James version of the Bible, and sing from the Grace Hymn book.
The New Testament portrays the Church as more than just a group of Christians meeting together but as a well structured, well organised group in which all play a part but which nevertheless has leaders and overseers as well as other office bearers. The Church stands for the truth of the Gospel and for Christian morality. It exists to bear witness to both of these in the world and if its standards are violated by a member, action must be taken to restore its order, mercifully and under the guidance of God, both for its own purity and for the sake of its witness. The New Testament also portrays the Church as a group to which Christians should be joined (Acts 9:26-28 and Acts 5:12-14). Therefore, although all Christians should belong to a Church, they should join because they desire to, and not because they are forced against their will. On doing so, they are taking upon themselves privileges as well as responsibilities. These latter include making a full contribution to the life of the Church, and living a consistent Christian life at the personal level.
The word “join” that the New Testament uses is a very strong word which means “to glue” therefore when a person becomes a member of the Church they are entering into a binding agreement in which they effectively make a loving commitment to the rest of the Church and the rest of the Church make a loving commitment to them. In so doing the Church promises to walk together in Love, bearing one another’s burdens, bearing with each others weaknesses and failings with much kind-heartedness, submitting one toward the other and especially to those whom God has set over the Church in the offices of Pastor and Elder, praying for each other and striving together for the truths of the Gospel and purity of God’s ways and ordinances, avoiding causes and causers of division, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.