Abbey Baptist Church is an active community of Christian believers living in and around Abingdon. We are committed to discovering more about God through his living word, the Bible, and want to get to know him better. We believe that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus transforms our lives, now and for eternity.
"Bringing God's Message to Life in Abingdon"
The best way to find out more about Abbey is to come along to our main Sunday gathering at 10.30am on Checker Walk, next to the old Abbey buildings (click here for a map). You will be very welcome indeed.
The morning service is designed to be friendly and accessible for all. It includes a staffed creche for 0-2s, and the provision of Venturers for primary-aged children to enjoy during the second half of the service. However, families are encouraged to remain together throughout the service if preferred.
We look forward to learning from God's word each week, so the talks always seek to be clear and relevant. We also enjoy delighting in God, both through sung worship and by talking with him in prayer.
We run a similar service at 6pm on Sunday evenings. Each service ends with an opportunity to chat over tea and coffee.
Abbey is a busy church family, with many people giving their time and contributing to our shared life together as part of the body of Christ.
Abbey is led by a team of elders:
From left to right:
John Lipp came to faith as a teenager in the north of Scotland. After studying engineering at the University of Aberdeen, he moved to Oxfordshire and has worked in electronics ever since. He has been involved in church youth work, and has lead small groups in various settings for many years. He loves seeing people grow in their faith (Colossians 1v28). He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two children walking, cycling, swimming or doing DIY.
Born in Cardiff, Peter Akrill works as a toxicologist in Abingdon. He is married to Karen and they have three sons. Peter has been a Christian since he was eleven years old and enjoys playing sport, particularly football and golf, and can often be found running the local Parkrun.
Graeme Stonell has lived in Abingdon and been part of Abbey for many years. He is a scientist working at nearby Harwell. He is married with two adult daughters.
Clive Bowsher joined Abbey in October 2017 as an Associate Minister. He was a university lecturer before training for ministry at London Seminary and Toronto Baptist Seminary. Clive is passionate about knowing Christ, and seeing God’s Spirit and Word change hearts and lives. With the rest of his week he was, until recently, completing a book on biblical theology for IVP called "Life in the Son". He is ministering full-time at Abbey from 1 September 2019. He enjoys spending time with his wife Kerstin and young son, and sport of most kinds.
Beth Rolfe is our women's pastoral worker. She is married with two grown up children. She is originally from Northern Ireland and became a Christian around the age of eleven. She has been a member of Abbey, together with her husband, for over 30 years, where she has been involved at various times with children’s work and work with the elderly. For many years she was a primary school teacher before taking on her current role at Abbey.
We are an Evangelical Church. A summary of our doctrinal statement is below. Copies of our constitution and church handbook are available on request.
We support several mission organisations, including Grace Baptist Mission whose offices are joined to our church building.
We are a registered charity, no. 900022
Our Data Protection policy is available for download by clicking here.
Doctrinal Statement - our basis of faith:
1. The Being of God
We believe that there is one true God, eternal, infinite, glorious and sovereign whose nature is love. In the one essence of God are three distinct persons, co-equal and co-eternal, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We believe that God is the Creator. He alone is the source of life. In creation God formed man and woman in his own image.
We believe that God is the Sustainer. He has not abandoned the world to the powers of chance or evil. God is sovereign over angels, people and events, and is guiding history towards its predestined end.
We believe that God is the Redeemer. Salvation in its origin, provision and application is entirely the work of God.
2. The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Scriptures are of divine origin. In communicating his revelation God used human authors without employing them mechanically or disregarding their personalities. The Holy Spirit so prepared and guided the writers that the original Scriptures were preserved from all error. We accept the divine authority of the whole Bible -– that is, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.
We believe that God has graciously given in the Scriptures a sufficient, necessary, and reliable revelation of his character and plan.
We believe that God guides his people through his Spirit in a way that is consistent with his written word and that the Bible is to be decisive in all matters of belief and behaviour.
3. Mankind in Sin
We believe that Adam and Eve were created sinless, but tempted by Satan, the leader of the fallen angels, they rebelled against God. By this fall Adam, as the representative of the human race, forfeited his high privilege and brought about the condemnation of all mankind and God’s curse on the physical creation.
We believe that although all people are separated from God by their sin, they are still accountable to him. Because of their fallen state they cannot save themselves and are unwilling and unable to please God or to choose Christ.
4. The Plan of Salvation
We believe that salvation is entirely the result of divine grace. God in eternity predestined to salvation a great multitude of sinners for whom the eternal Son of God willingly became the mediator, took a real and sinless human nature in the womb of the virgin Mary, and lived a perfect life in full obedience to the holy law of God.
We believe that Jesus Christ bled and died on the cross to give himself as a substitute for his elect, bearing the just wrath of God as the full penalty of their sin.
We believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into heaven where he lives and reigns, interceding for his church and governing all things until the end of time.
We believe that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection also secured the future redemption of the physical creation from its cursed state.
5. The Application of Salvation
We believe that the salvation secured by the work of Jesus Christ is applied to the elect by the Holy Spirit. By his powerful and sovereign work those dead in sin are made alive in Christ. They hear the call of God through his word and are given the desire and ability to repent of sin and believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
We believe that sinners are justified by faith in Jesus Christ alone. They receive forgiveness for sins and are credited with the righteousness of Christ.
We believe that those whom God justifies will persevere to the end and enter into the joys of eternal life with Christ in heaven.
6. The Christian Life
We believe that the Christian receives the blessings of the new covenant, experiencing forgiveness of sins and the creation of an inward desire to glorify God by a sanctified life which conforms to his laws with the assistance of the Holy Spirit within.
We believe that good works and holy living are essential evidence of a genuine experience of divine grace.
7. The Church
We believe that the universal church is the innumerable company of God's elect in every age.
We believe that the local church is made up of those who have joined together in visible fellowship as a community and that it is the duty of all believers to unite with a local church in commitment to the Lord, to the truth and to each other in love.
We believe that it is the responsibility of God's people to spread the gospel in their locality and among all nations.
We believe that the sole head of the church is Jesus Christ who communicates his will through his Word and guides the church by his Spirit. He also equips his people for his work on earth. The local church is led by elders and others are appointed to specific areas of service.
We believe that the local church is responsible to Christ for its own administration and in this respect is independent of every other form of control.
We believe that baptism and the Lord's supper were instituted by Christ and that both ordinances are to be observed by local churches until he returns.
We believe that Baptism is only for those who have made a profession of repentance and of faith in Christ and that the symbolism of this ordinance is most accurately portrayed by immersion in water.
We believe that participation in the Lord’s supper is appropriate only for those who profess to have saving faith in Christ.
We believe that the biblical pattern is most fully reflected when the ordinances are understood in conjunction with commitment to a local church.
9. The Last Things
We believe that, at a time known only to God, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth with power and glory to raise the dead, both believers and unbelievers, and to judge all mankind in righteousness. Unbelievers will be condemned to eternal punishment.
We believe that the physical creation will be renewed into a perfect and glorious new creation. There, believers will be made perfect through the merits of Christ and will experience the eternal joy of the presence of God in the new heavens and new earth, the full and final kingdom of God.