About Us

Who We Are

Southernhay – because we are situated in Southernhay on the corner of Southernhay East and Dix's Field.

United – because we are part of a church that has come about as a result of the union of four other churches

Reformed – because our roots go back to the Reformation in the 16th century.

Church – because we are a group of Christian people who gather to worship and serve God and proclaim God's love for the world.

We are part of the United Reformed Church bringing together Congregational, Presbyterian and Churches of Christ traditions in over 1500 churches across England, Scotland and Wales – and we are part of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches representing 75 million Christians in 107 countries.

We are licensed for Weddings and proud to be the only church in Devon licensed for Civil Partnerships.

We base our life together on five foundations:

  • Tell: telling the good news of God's new world.
  • Teach: helping people to understand God better and explore their faith through Christian education
  • Tend: responding to human need in loving service and seeking ways in which we can best serve our local community.
  • Treasure: trying to be faithful stewards of God's creation by caring for the environment.
  • Transform: seeking to change the unjust structures of society through our partnerships with Christian Aid, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and similar bodies.

-The Five Marks of Mission agreed in 1997 by Churches Together in England

 

What We Do

 

Believing – We believe that, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, humanity witnessed a unique revelation of God's love – and that God still works in us today.

Welcoming and cherishing all – We believe that God loves and values everyone. We try to be welcoming to all. We are an intentionally inclusive church: Whatever your race, colour, age, gender, sexual orientation or state of health - and wherever you are on your spiritual journey - you are welcome at Southernhay.

Working together – We welcome dialogue with those of different faiths or of none. We work for closer ties with our partner United Reformed Churches at Pinhoe and Heavitree as well as with other churches in the city through Christians Together Across Exeter. We participate in the Exeter InterFaith & Belief Group and support the work of the Devon Faiths Forum through the sponsorhip of a part-time post. Our beliefs translate themselves into actions as we seek ways of serving our local community and of doing what we can to promote justice in our society and in the wider world.

Listening and seeking for God's Word – We base our faith on the teaching of the Bible and subsequent experiences of God by those who follow Jesus. We recognise the Bible as a cradle of divine revelation. It was written over a period of hundreds of years by individuals and communities trying to express their ideas of God within the understandings and cultures of their times. We believe it is our task to interpret these writings for our own day and age. Our attempts to understand God are not static but continually evolving. We may explore answers to life's questions – but none of us can claim to do more than offer our own experience of God as an aid to that exploration. Sometimes we have to learn to live with our questions but we believe our faith develops as we deal with anxiety and doubt.

Praying – Through our prayers we seek a closer understanding of God. We try to draw closer to God and to seek God's will for our lives. Prayer for others prevents us from becoming self-centred and focuses our thoughts on the wider world. There are many different ways to approach prayer. Not everyone prays in the same way.

Worshipping – In worship, we try to show something of God's glory, lifting ourselves out of our everyday lives and helping us all to fulfil our human potential.

Questioning – We are always asking questions, whether about our faith and about how we show that faith in practical action.

Journeying together – We are on a spiritual journey. Wherever you are on yours, you are welcome at Southernhay!