What we believe

Christianity is not about religion, it’s about having a personal relationship with Jesus.  Within that relationship, there are a number of ways that our worship, beliefs and methods can be expressed. 

At St Andrew's in Bangor we are part of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, so we organise ourselves and our practices in agreement with the Presbyterian model.  ‘Presbyterian’ simply means that our church is governed by a group of Elders (called a Kirk Session for historical reasons).  The Elders are drawn from the church community and are people blessed with a strong faith and spiritual gifts who oversee all spiritual maters in the church.

Each Presbyterian church is then a member of a local grouping called a Presbytery (we are a member of the Ards Presbytery).  Each Presbytery is represented on the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.  In this way, the local churches can unite and agree on various matters and therefore present a united viewpoint.

Presbyterian churches are part of a wider grouping of Churches, collectively know as Protestant.  There are other groupings such as Roman Catholic and Orthodox.  The Protestant Churches began from the protests of Martin Luther in 1517.  Martin Luther opposed the corrupt practices that he saw within the Church Establishment at that time.  

The major parts of the system of beliefs that Protestants adhere to (known as Doctrine) were defined and refined by Luther and others such as John Calvin at this time, and for about a century afterwards.  The core tenets of the Doctrine are summarised in a short document called The Apostles Creed.  For a more in-depth study, the full Westminster Confession of Faith document is available online with a useful cross reference to the applicable verses of the Bible that support each statement.

Finally, we encourage everyone that is part of St Andrew's to spend time reading, digesting, and pondering the Bible, God’s Word.  It is essential for growing in your walk with God.  We have tried therefore to provide access to specific websites that will help you to study the Bible and to find out more about the incredible work that God is doing, through His Son, Jesus, across the world.