What we believe at St Leonard's

Belief is at the heart of our faith here at St. Leonard’s. We trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and believe that Jesus is God’s Son; that Jesus reveals to us that God is our Father and that God is available to us through the Holy Spirit.
We believe because God has come to seek us out and has made himself known to us.  We do not believe that Christian faith is a human invention; there are signs of God’s existence and handiwork in creation for anyone to read:

Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways; 17 yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good—giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.’

Acts 14.15-17

As Christians, we try to express our love for our neighbours by caring for them and helping them to know and experience God’s love through Jesus.
We believe that God’s help and grace are available to us through the Sacraments. A Sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. Christ himself instituted the principal Sacraments; Baptism and Holy Communion
In Baptism, we receive the gift of spiritual birth into Christ’s way of life. The water symbolises the water of the womb. It also represents God’s sustaining love for us, in the same way, that water is essential for physical survival. And as a symbol of washing, it represents God’s forgiveness for all that is contrary to love in human nature. The oil represents the way in which God fills and surrounds us with his Holy Spirit. The robe of baptism and the lighted candle represent the way of life that Christians should try to live, as followers of Christ the True Light.
Our union with Christ, which commenced at Baptism, is sustained and renewed in Holy Communion. It is also called the Eucharist, which means Thanksgiving. Jesus instituted the Sacrament on the night before he died on the Cross. He instructed his followers to take bread and wine, bless them, break the bread and share the bread and wine. We repeat his words “This is my body” and “This is my Blood”.
From the earliest times, Christians have celebrated Holy Communion on the day of the Resurrection, the first day of the week. We believe in the real presence of Christ in this Holy Sacrament. The obvious symbolism is of being fed. In the Bible, the perfect Kingdom of God is pictured as a Heavenly Banquet. The Eucharist is a foretaste of the celebration that we believe we will have with God after death. It is also a sign that the Kingdom of God, or Heaven, has already started to be a reality in this life. The Eucharist is a celebration of thanksgiving for God’s love that we see in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is also re-dedication of ourselves to the new life which we entered at Baptism.