Gathering together is something we do because we believe it’s the clear pattern that God commands in His Word to His followers. We see that God is a relational God who calls His people to relationship with Him and with each other. God is an intimate God, a God who presences Himself with His people, and He calls His people to presence themselves with each other too.
This is seen throughout the OT as God leads His chosen People, and it’s also seen in some of the images we’re given in the NT of the church – whether it’s a family as we see in Romans 8, or a body in 1 Corinthians 12, or a flock in 1 Peter 5, or a temple in 1 Corinthians 3 – the underlying theme is the same. Followers of Jesus unite together and gather together in His Name. Families are related, bodies are connected, flocks are shepherded, a temple is a collection of individual stones built together.
These images help us to appreciate the significance of being connected with one another, and that connection is displayed in physical proximity. There are also many examples throughout the NT where we see the pattern of physically gathering as clearly commanded or at the very least considered normative.
Acts 2:42-47 the early believers devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer, praising God and witnessing, and they do all these things together.
V46, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts”
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
In 1 Corinthians 11 and 14, the Apostle Paul uses the phrase, ‘when you come together’, and in chapter 11 we see him add:
“when you come together as a church” (11:18)
Chapter 14 has a whole section on the order there should be in the worship gathering when they come together.
These examples show – and this isn’t an exhaustive list – the pattern of God’s people gathering together; physically sharing space together.
So why do we gather? We gather because that’s the Biblical pattern laid down for us to follow.
We gather on Sunday mornings at 11am in our church building (2 Middle Braniel Road, Belfast, BT5 7TU), and anyone is welcome to join us! Our hope would be that you would receive a warm and genuine welcome as you gather with us.
Absolutely! We have a wide range of ages within the church family and whole families are most welcome. We try to ensure there is content and / or activities that help children to feel just as much a part of our gathering as anyone else – simply ask someone when you arrive.
We also have a hall at the back of the church with a glazed wall into the main sanctuary and an audio feed – so if you would like some extra space or privacy you can move in there and still be part of our service together. In saying that, we do NOT adhere to a ‘children should be seen and not heard’ policy – so please do not worry if your little one(s) become a little lively!
Please come as you are and in a way that you will be comfortable. As we gather in God’s Name as God’s people, we believe He will be at work in our hearts – regardless of how we’re dressed. So if you feel more comfortable in your ‘Sunday best’ – that’s wonderful, we’ll be welcome you. And if you’re comfortable in your casual wardrobe – that’s just as wonderful – and we’ll be equally welcome you!
Our services begin at 11am, so it may be helpful for you to arrive 5-10 minutes beforehand in order to make sure you’ve made it to your seat and got comfortable before the service. However, that’s not essential – even if you’re running late, please feel free to arrive when you can!
We normally spend about 60-75 minutes together, depending on the nature of the Sunday service. There is a time of tea and coffee after the service, and many folk stay for a considerable time enjoying that.
There is limited car parking on the site – both above and below the main church building – or you can park on the street. If that’s the case, we only ask that you would be mindful of other road users and considerate our of neighbours.
Yes. If arriving by car, please use the upper gate, where you can drive right to the front door. We have a fully accessible washroom and all of our main activities take place on a single level.