S Giles-in-Reading: An Experiment in Christian Unity.
S Giles-in-Reading is a living experiment in Christian Unity. Our worshipping community is made up of Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and many from protestant and evangelical backgrounds. We are all united by a common love of Jesus Christ, a deep devotion to the Mystery of the Church, a submission to the Word of God revealed in Holy Scripture and a passionate desire to be transformed by the Good News of Christ so as to become living participants in his own sacrificial love for the world.
Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Church as something she can never lose - even in spite of visible divisions. Its not that we don’t take the very real divisions in the Church seriously, its just that we believe that those divisions are best overcome by simply living together in Christ, with a real and practical devotion to his Holy Church.
We are part of the Church of England, and are proud of it! We believe that the catholic witness of the Church of England is a gift to the whole Church. There is a genius and subtlety to the English catholic tradition that brings together the riches of Orthodox, Catholic and Reformed insights. As a gesture toward the unity of the whole Body of Christ, we use the liturgy of the Universal Church. We believe that Christian unity, in a practical sense, is not just the responsibility of international bodies, but more importantly it is the responsibility of local Christian communities.
Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: "That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me.” The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.
At S Giles we work toward unity, we pray for unity, and above all we embody unity in our life together. No matter your background or your affiliations, you will find a deep and nourishing spiritual home at S Giles-in-Reading.