What is a Free Church?
Hagley Free Church and the Free Church Tradition
Hagley Free Church belongs to the historic Free Church tradition, which came into being during the 16th century when the life-giving spirit broke out with new power within the structures , polities, ceremonies and creeds of the established church, which were in danger of becoming restrictive and
limiting. The wisdom of God demanded a many-coloured, variegated and manifold expression of the gospel of Christ. Jesus was seen as the authority in matters of life and faith as revealed in the bible. There was a priesthood of all believers, and the church was seen as a gathered fellowship of believers, free to worship and witness. None of this has ever precluded change or development.
Hagley Free Church is an independent church in that tradition, whose membership is open to all who
profess faith in Christ. It is non-creedal, but expects its members to believe in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to lead lives worthy of Christ. It is governed by its own members, who elect a committee and a body of custodial trustees, with regular members' meetings, and who have the authority in church life. Currently there is an honorary minister.
The church celebrates holy communion, and practises infant as well as believers' baptism. Sunday worship is conducted by both ordained and lay people, men and women. It is fully committed ecumenically. It sees itself as of and for its local community.