About us

People

We are Christians from a range of church backgrounds (Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Independent, Charismatic) and none, as well as people who have grown up in this church.

Our identity and purpose as a church is based firmly on knowing Jesus personally and the teaching of the Bible. We aim to live with integrity by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and showing love and support to people in the church, home, community and workplace.

Leadership

The church has two Co-Ministers, Steve Gaze & Kate Gaze. They live in the village and have three children. Read more about them here. They are supported by two volunteer leaders, or elders, Robbie Thomson and Pauline Blower, chosen by the church.

Origins and Associations

We are a member church of the Eastern Baptist Association and a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), number 1163049. The CIO is called Hardwick Christian Fellowship, for historical reasons, and we were formerly registered under the number 801775.

The charity trustees are Steve Gaze (ex officio as co-minister), David Sage (ex officio as Treasurer), Enid Instone-Brewer (ex officio as Secretary) and Susie Thomson.

The church dates back to the mid 1980s when a Christian family moved into a house on the relatively new Limes Estate in Hardwick and invited any other interested Christians from Hardwick to join them on Sunday afternoons to pray for the village. Fairly soon, those Christians were meeting for Bible study, prayer, fellowship and evangelism, and Hardwick Christian Fellowship (later to take the name Hardwick Evangelical Church) was born.

Church membership

We are a membership-led church, which means that major issues are voted on by the members, rather than just being decided by the leaders. Three or four times a year we hold a church business meeting for exchanging information, discussion and decision making. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings and participate in the discussions, but only members can vote.

Membership is a practical way to ensure that church decisions are made by those who have submitted their lives to Christ and have committed to this church through attendance and participation. People who have not become members are equally welcome, loved and valued as fellow-participants in the life of the church.

To become a member please speak to one of the leaders. They will then arrange to come and discuss more with you, hear about your journey of faith and answer any further questions you have about membership.

Members are expected:
-To have professed repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord
-To have been baptised (with certain exceptions based upon their faith background)
-To assent to the basis of faith upon which the church operates – please see What We Believe here.
-To accept and seek to put into practice the aims of the church

After meeting with you the leaders will put your name on the agenda at the next church business meeting as someone applying for membership. At the meeting, you may want to share your Christian journey and people may want to ask questions. Then you will leave the room and a vote will be taken to accept you into membership after which you will be welcomed back as a member. From that point on, you can participate in any vote taken.

Church membership ends when:

-A member resigns from membership, usually when they move from the area and it is no longer practical to attend.
-Membership has lapsed because a member has not attended church for six months. Exceptions can be made in special circumstances, such as in case of illness or working overseas.
-Membership has been withdrawn due to continual non-compliance with the conditions of membership.