Frequently Asked Questions
What do you believe?
We are a Christian church and we believe in the classic Creeds of the Christian Church, Apostles and Nicene. (You can read more at Spirituality > What we believe as Christians). In particular we believe that our lives are devoid of meaning and purpose until we come into a relationship with God. This relationship sets us free from all the things that would drag us down and are bad for us, and enables us to reach our true potential as human beings. St Ireneaus said that the “glory of God is a human fully alive” and we believe that our relationships with God energise and change us.
Are you really a church?
Yes of course! Jesus says that wherever two or three are gathered together in his name he is there with us (Matthew 18:20). Classically the Church has defined itself as being One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. We believe we are part of this church. We are One in that our Unity is in Jesus who is the Head of the Church; we are Holy in that Jesus, our Head, is in a continual process of making us holy; we are Catholic in that we welcome all people to worship with us, not just one particular group; and we are apostolic in that we do the work of the apostles in baptising and making disciples amongst all types of people. (You can read more at Spirituality > Are we really a church?)
What about the Bible?
The Bible is the source document for our faith and contains all we know about the early history of the Jewish people, the life of Jesus, and the development of the earliest Church. God speaks to us through the Bible. However, we need to understand that the Bible is a fusion of the Word of God and the words of humans. There are some passages in the Bible which have been interpreted in negative ways and used to condemn lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people. There are other passages which have been used to oppress women, justify war and promote slavery! All churches realise that we have to interpret the Bible in the light of our experience and reason, what we know about the Biblical world view of the authors, and of our own conscience. We believe that if the Bible is understood properly it does not condemn us, but instead offers us many powerful examples of love between all sorts of couples and people. (You can read more at Spirituality > The Bible.)
What does it mean to be an lgbt-led church?
In MCC we welcome all types of people to worship with us and explore a journey of Christian discipleship. To be lgbt friendly means that we have a high profile in the local gay village and media. We speak out in the press about areas of concern to our communities, we use a variety of images in our worship, liturgy and song which speak to various groups of people. We don’t judge anyone and we help each other on our journey through life. We realise how life really is and don’t try to get people to be anything other than who they are. You don’t need to pretend in MCC.
What does it mean to be trans friendly?
As a trans friendly church we offer acceptance to everyone no matter who they are. In particular we offer acceptance to trans people at whatever stage they may be in their personal journey. Our trans people are actively involved in leading worship and take part in our governing structures. We offer support to people who are starting to explore their trans journey and foster a trans discussion group which meets monthly. (You can read more at our Community > Trans People page.)
How do you manage your diversity?
By stressing that the key things that we all want and expect from each other are acceptance, trust and love. Most of us have been in situations where these things have been denied to us so we understand how important these values are. We also recognise that God loves us all and wants to use us all to build up the church. These values and ideas help us celebrate and manage the wonderful diversity God has given us.
Can straight people come?
Of course! If we discriminated against one section of society we would be as bad as churches which discriminate against us! We believe that as part of the One Holy Catholic church we are called to offer a welcome, ministry and fellowship to all people – that is what being “catholic” or “universal” is all about. We have heterosexual clergy and members in all of our churches around the world. We are there for anyone who wants a fresh expression of church where tolerance is a virtue, where we can celebrate the central truths of the Christian faith, be encouraged to think and reflect on things for ourselves, and be a tolerant loving community. (You can read more on our Spirituality > Personal Faith Stories page - particularly Barbara's story).
What is the history of your denomination?
MCC was founded in 1968 in America by an ex-Pentecostal clergyman called Troy Perry. Troy wanted to establish a church which would not discriminate. Since then we have grown to around 300 congregations in 17 countries around the world. We have had congregations in the UK since 1972 and our congregation in Manchester started in 1992.
What is the structure of your denomination?
Our structure is very simple and is a modified congregational system. Churches and pastors elect the Moderator, who leads the denomination. They also elect the members of the Governing Board, which has responsibility for setting the denomination's administrative and financial policies. (Click here to read more about our denomination.)
How do you get on with other churches?
We enjoy warm relations with many other local churches, in particular with our hosts here at Wilbraham Saint Ninian’s. Many clergy from other denominations come along to us and find us a source of support, challenge and inspiration.
How can I keep in touch with you?
You can subscribe to our email listso we can keep you up to date with our news. You can keep checking out our website. You can email or call our pastor, and you can come along to worship! (You can find the details on our Contact Us page.)
What can I expect if I come along?
If you come along you can expect a warm welcome and lively music reflecting the best of modern Christian songwriting supplemented occasionally by the best traditional church music. Our service has a simple liturgical structure with some congregational prayers to say together and uplifting sermons which are designed to help us in our journey of Christian discipleship.
Everyone is invited to share Holy Communion where Jesus is made especially present in our lives. We don’t have any restrictions about who can receive Holy Communion – if you are sincerely looking for God in your life and are sorry for the things you have done wrong then you are welcome to receive. We use non-alcoholic wine, and gluten-free bread is available, so that everyone can be included.
After worship there is a chance to choose from a variety of teas, coffees, and capuccinos whilst you chat to other people and get to know us more. Our aim is that, when people leave worship, people should feel better about themselves, each other, and God than when they came in! (You can read more at About Us > A virtual first visit to our church.)
Can I come if I already go to another church?
Of course! A number of our people find that MCC supplements another church they attend. Sometimes people stay in other churches to work for change and find strength from us; at other times people don’t want to sever the links they have with their “home” congregation but feel that our particular ministry is a source of great joy and strength to them.
Why should I attend MCC rather than another church?
MCC is an amazing church where you can experience God, be led into a journey of Christian discipleship with a group of people who will care about you, love you and nurture you regardless of age, sex, race, class, orientation, gender, physical ability or any other irrelevant distinction. It is easy to find a liberal church that welcomes all types of people but which doesn’t teach the Christian faith in a coherent, traditional and lively way, or to find a lively church which doesn’t welcome diversity. In MCC we do both and we do it well!
Where will my journey with you lead me?
If you come as a seeker we hope that your journey with us will lead you into a life-changing relationship with Jesus. If you are already Christian, we hope that your journey with us will deepen your faith and give you opportunities to use the gifts and skills God has given you in a Biblical ministry of service to others. We know that God has not brought you this far to leave you, but continues to journey with you, wanting the best for you. In MCC we will help you achieve your best.