A couple of years ago we decided to try to summarise ‘what we are about’ as a parish church and came up with the following mission statement:
Committed to prayer
We believe that prayer is what shapes and defines every Christian community. It is how we meet with God and open our lives to His loving presence.
As well as the prayers said during church services, part of our commitment at Norbury is our evening ‘prayer chain’, which responds to people asking members to pray for a particular person or situation that is on their hearts. The regular Fellowship Groups, as well as providing fellowship and Bible study, offer a time to share our own and others’ needs and to bring all these to God in prayer (silently or aloud). Our monthly parish prayer meeting on the third Monday of every month from 7pm to 7.30pm gives us an opportunity to come together to pray both for the life of Norbury and for wider concerns. We also hold an annual ‘prayer week’, which involves a continuous prayer vigil for the church and the world.
A small group, Front Line Faith, also prays regularly for persecuted Christians and those in mission, meeting on the third Tuesday of every month, at 11am.
We believe not only that God answers prayer but that prayer changes people and enables them to have a clearer vision of our heavenly Father’s love for all.
Welcoming to all
We believe that the church should be inclusive, remembering that Jesus, in His ministry, offered love and healing to all. The church is not only a place for those with a strong faith (although it is that!); it is also a place for those who struggle to believe, have doubts and questions or simply need somewhere to belong.
We are an all-age congregation and welcome those from 0–100 (and above). This is reflected in our pattern of worship, which ranges from 1662 Prayer Book to very contemporary all-age worship. We are a church with an open door and we love to welcome new people of all ages and backgrounds.
Transformed by worship
Worship is at the heart of the life of Norbury. We value our Anglican identity and this is reflected in the pattern of our worship. We treasure our inherited traditions but also offer contemporary and creative acts of worship. Our music is led both by a choir and organist as well as a music group and singers combining old and new hymns and songs. We believe that worship is far more than religious words and actions and that it enables us to experience the life-changing presence of God. We believe that our worship does not finish as we leave the church building, but that we are called to serve God day to day, in lives that reflect His wonderful love for all.
One in the love of Christ
We believe in the unity of all Christians in the love of Jesus. We remember that Jesus prayed for all His followers to be one, still calls us to be united in His love, and that what binds Christians together – the wonderful love of the Lord Jesus – is far more compelling than anything that could divide us.