The church community
Aston and Cote Community Church is a modern church with a very long history. The church community is made up of residents of Aston and the villages around. While most of our church congregation live in Aston, we have always had a significant number from Bampton, as well as folk from Standlake, Ducklington and, of course, Cote. Visitors are always welcome to join us in any of our activities and we hope to provide a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in all we do.
We meet most Sundays at 10.00a.m. in the Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, Aston. Our Sunday meetings are family-friendly and informal. We usually start with a short child-centred talk, song or activity. This is typically followed by a time of sung and spoken worship and prayer, using contemporary worship music and opportunity for contributions from the congregation. About half way through the meeting, the children go to their own time of activities and ‘Sunday School’ (all led by DBS-checked volunteers) while the adults listen to a talk. Our talks are unashamedly Bible-based, as we believe in the inspiration of the Bible and see it as the authoritative source for our beliefs and practices; but we seek also to make sure it is applied and relevant to our day to day lives.
Although Sundays are our main meeting day, we are a church family, who see our shared faith in Jesus as the basis for every part of our lives. We think it very important to build strong relationships and aim to meet together during the week in various ways and to support and encourage one another and those in the neighbourhood in whatever ways we can. As our simple mission statement says: ‘Our vision is to show the love of Jesus in the community’ – whether church members or others. Many of our activities involve the wider community, whether that be our monthly Chillax youth group, Forest Church for younger children, or the Alpha course, designed for those who wish to explore Christianity in an open-minded, discussion-based format (with food!). For more details of when we meet and what we do, please see Meetings and Events (or whatever we call it).
We believe that the church is the ‘body of Christ’ (to use a biblical metaphor), which means that every individual is an important member of the body and plays their own key role in the life of the church. Our church leadership emerges out of this, so that we do not have a single ‘one-man (or woman) ministry’. We do however have a leadership team, [link to a who’s who section with photos and brief profiles of Barnetts, Longs and Neals] currently comprising three couples, led by Alastair and Hazel Barnett. Alastair is the leader, or community head of the church. He is sometimes called the pastor or minister, but prefers a less ‘professional’ sounding title!
While rooted deeply in the local community, we also believe it is important to have a wider vision and to be part of something bigger. We are part of Oxfordshire Community Churches and work closely together with a group of 4 other churches in the west part of Oxfordshire and beyond, known as West Region. All are part of a UK and international family of churches called Salt and Light. Approximately once every two months, we meet together on a Sunday morning with the other churches of West Region in a larger Celebration, held in Witney.
ACCC is the contemporary expression of Cote Baptist Church, whose history dates back to the early eighteenth century. The congregation continued to meet in Cote Baptist Chapel (built in 1756) right up until 1980, when it moved into the newly-built Fellowship Centre in Aston, where it has met ever since. Cote Baptist Chapel itself is now managed by the Historic Chapels Trust and is available for booking for special events e.g. weddings, blessings, concerts etc (For further details about the Chapel, contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
ACCC remains part of the Baptist Union, but we are also affiliated to Oxfordshire Community Churches (https://www.occ.org.uk/) and are part of the Salt and Light international network of churches (https://www.saltlight.org/).
Beliefs and values
We are an evangelical, charismatic church community and we adhere to orthodox, biblical beliefs, as summarised in the 11 core points of the Evangelical Alliance ‘Basis of Faith’
- The one true God who lives eternally in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
- The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God-fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
- The dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
- The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ – born of the Virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
- The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
- The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
- The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
- The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
- The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers – given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
- The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.