Introducing Affinity

 

Why does Affinity exist?

As he prepared to go to the Cross, Jesus prayed that the unity of his people might be visible to the world for the sake of the Gospel (John 17:21-23). It is important for us to work this out together to the best of our ability. We also want to respond to Paul’s exhortation, to 'make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace' (Ephesians 4:3).

Affinity is one expression of unity between Gospel churches, agencies and Christians. Our aim is to declare and demonstrate the unity of Christ's Church for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom. Our unity with our fellow Christians adds credibility to our witness to the Gospel. If we are to effectively evangelise the people of this generation we need to do it together; none of us can do it on our own. In everything we are totally dependent on the grace of a loving and almighty God.


What are the distinctive characteristics of Affinity?

We are a body of evangelical Christians who are committed to the written Word of God in all that we believe and do. This shared commitment provides a firm basis on which we can work together with confidence and ensures that any differences are of secondary significance.

We are primarily a fellowship of churches working together in partnership.

We also bring together evangelical agencies and individual Christians to work together to advance the cause of the Gospel.

We are open to, and exist to serve, all evangelical churches, regardless of any other distinctives.


Who belongs to Affinity?

Affinity is a partnership of Gospel churches, evangelical agencies and individual Christians committed to working together to advance the work of the Gospel in the UK and Ireland and around the world.

21 church groups belong to Affinity together with other independent congregations. The churches come from all parts of the UK and Ireland. In all there are more than 1200 churches in fellowship with Affinity. We are one of the largest group of evangelical churches in the UK. You will find details about the churches in the Find a Church section of this website.

There are also 31 Christian agencies in fellowship with Affinity as Associates. This includes mission agencies, Bible Colleges and Christian publishers.

Many Christians are Personal Members of Affinity. In this way they express their fellowship with other Christians and their commitment to the witness and various ministries of Affinity.

 

What does Affinity believe about Evangelical Ecumenism?

  • Affinity is an expression of Gospel unity as churches and Christian agencies work together in partnership.
  • We are united in our commitment to the Christian Faith revealed in the Bible.  The Bible is the foundation of all that we believe and do.
  • We seek to express Gospel unity with all who are committed to biblical Christianity as expressed in the Affinity doctrinal basis.
  • Affinity churches, which come from every part of Britain and Ireland, respect each other’s varied convictions regarding church government and the ordinances/sacraments.
  • The biblical Gospel defines the boundaries of true Christian fellowship.  Affinity churches, with real sadness, cannot enter into Gospel partnership with churches which deny the fundamental Bible doctrines set out in the Affinity doctrinal basis.  
  • When necessary we are ready to oppose those who deny biblical truth and who preach a different gospel.  In such situations it is our solemn duty and privilege to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”
  • We welcome opportunities to engage in constructive discussion with all who name the name of Christ.
  • We acknowledge that there are a range of social and ethical issues where we may feel free to engage and to cooperate with those who share our concerns but who cannot endorse our biblical convictions.
  • We pray that the unity for which the Lord Jesus Christ prayed will be experienced more and more by all who know and love him.

    Our understanding of Evangelical Ecumenism is informed by the following biblical passages:

    Powerful positives      Psalm 133:1; John 17:17, 20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 4:2-6; Titus.1:9

    Necessary negatives  Matthew 7:15-16;  Romans 16:17;  Galatians 1:6-9;  2 John 7-11; Jude:3-4

 

What does Affinity Publish?

Foundations is an online theological journal which is published twice a year.

Our newsletter “In Touch” is published twice a year and is sent to all churches, Associates and personal members. We will be happy to add you to the mailing list. It can also be read online.

The Bulletin is published online 3 times a year by the Social Issues Team. It highlights current social and ethical issues and legal issues.

Table Talk is a series of occasional papers on current theological issues which are relevant to churches and Christians.

All Affinity publications are made available free of charge.

 

How does Affinity function?

An Executive Council, comprising representatives of Affinity Partners (the churches) and Affinity Associates (Christian agencies), meets twice a year.

The Director and Assistant Director are responsible for the day-to-day running of Affinity. They consult with a small Leadership Team drawn from the Executive Council.

Affinity Teams are active in 4 key areas covering Gospel Partnership, Social Issues, Theological Advocacy and World Focus.

In addition to activities undertaken by Affinity itself, our Partners and Associates are involved in a wide variety of ministries. Through our fellowship together we seek to help and encourage each other.


How is Affinity funded?

Affinity is dependent on the financial support of its members. Partners, Associates and Personal Members give donations each year. We are committed to using the money entrusted to us faithfully so as to advance the cause of the Gospel.