Our Core Values
Real answers - In an age of doubt and confusion we will hold out to people the truth that is found in Christ and His Word. We have, a clear commitment to the systematic expository preaching of scripture is central to the life of the church.
Real community - In an age of loneliness and broken relationships we will hold out to people the offer of a restored relationship with God and an opportunity to be part of God’s family, the church. We aim to build a real community with real relationships.
Real transformation - The power of the gospel to transform lives is incredible. We relish being part of what God is doing transforming people. We love to seeing those who are dead in sin made alive in Christ and becoming more and more like Jesus.
Real service - Genuine faith in Christ will naturally lead to acts of love and service. This love and care will, we trust, is a hallmark of our church family as we share our lives together. We aim also to be a blessing to the wider community of Carlisle. We pray for the city and aim to demonstrate Christ’s love by serving those in need.
Real hope - In a society where many are losing hope for the future, we have the answer - Jesus Christ. So in all we do we will point people to Christ. Jesus is the hope for those without hope. He is the answer to their most pressing need for he offers forgiveness of sin. Only Christ can rescue from the consequences of sin and give certain hope in the face of death. Only Christ can give people a fresh start.
What we believe
Carlisle Baptist Church can be described as evangelical, reformed and baptist.
The church is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, the North West Partnership and the Acts29 Network.
Our statement of faith.
1. God There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator; Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory.
2. The Bible God has revealed himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human authors, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
3. The Human Race All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are without spiritual life, guilty sinners and hostile to God. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please him.
4. The Lord Jesus Christ The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man and is the only mediator between God and mankind. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true. On the cross he died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin, redeeming them by his blood. He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father.
5. Salvation Salvation from guilt, penalty and all other consequences of sin is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in his love forgives sinners whom he calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.
6. The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
7. The Church The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; for pastoral care and discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.
8. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the church by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his Church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
9. The Future The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.
A brief history of our church
At Carlisle Baptist we know that church is much more about people than buildings.
Over our long history in the city the Baptist church have met in a number of locations.
From 1809 the church held their meetings in a room in Abbey Street; later, sometime after 1817 we rented the former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Fisher Street on the other side of the street to the Methodist Central Hall; (S.Jefferson, 1838, p274);
Another group, the Berian Baptists, met in a small Chapel in Tower Street, built in 1818 [P&W 1829 p140]; the location of 2 Baptist Chapels is shown on Wood’s 1821 map of the city.
By 1847 the Baptists were renting a large room with seating for up to 1000 at the Athenaeum, on Lowther street. What happened to the church between 1850 and 1880 is unclear but by 1880 plans are being made for the church to be reconstituted.
The church in it's current form was constituted in 1880 the church records record this statement signed by 21 men and women.
"We hereby call upon Mr.Alfred A. Saville, to form us into a church, which shall in all things, seek first the extension of Christ's Kingdom by the preaching of the Doctrines of Grace as set forth in the Bible, and the building up of the Saints in the Faith."
Fisher Street, Carlisle 31st October 1880.
Just seven years later the foundation stones of the current building on the corner of Warwick Square and Aglionby Street was laid on 21/07/1887; and the building opened 17/11/1888.
A comprehensive plan had been prepared for the development of the site of 1,400 square yards with church and Sunday school buildings estimated to cost a total of £5,000 but in the first instance it was intended to build only the church and vestries for a sum of £2,300. The church was planned to accommodate 490 persons but this could, be increased by erecting galleries to hold a further 250 persons when required.
In 1880 the famous victorian preacher commissioned one of his students to travel to Carlisle to "plant" a new church.
Exert from "The Sword and the Trowel" February 1880.
"Mr. W. Osborne has resigned the charge of the Thrissell-street Church, Bristol, and has removed to Carlisle, with the view of forming a Baptist church in that important northern town. We beg our brethren in Carlisle rally to the standard, and make this attempt a success"
"Mr. A. A. Saville has left us to continue the work commenced by Mr. Osborne at Carlisle."
"Several students, at different periods in the. history of the College, [Spurgeon’s Preachers’ College] on being sent out as pioneers to start new churches, received this singular charge: — “ Cling tightly with both your hands; when they fail, catch hold with your teeth; and if they give way, hang on by your eyelashes!” Mr. Saville went to Carlisle with these words ringing in his ears, and he obeyed them all too literally. With true heroism, he would not let his dear President know the hardships he was enduring for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s; but someone, who discovered the plight he was in, wrote about his trials and sufferings; and as; soon as the tidings reached Mr. Spurgeon, substantial help was sent to him."
In July 1887 the Carlisle Baptist Church minute book records. "The Rev C Spurgeon laid a cheque on the stone he had laid for £150 from his father C H Spurgeon (£150 has been estimated in 2012 to be the equivalent of £63,500) The entry ends with the words "We thanked God and took courage"