The Early Years
We started in September 2000 with a very small group of people in St Leonards, led by Glenn and Cathy Khan, who felt that God was calling them to pioneer a new church under what at that time was a group of churches known as "Christian Outreach Centre". Originally meeting in a small hall called the Taplin Centre, we eventually outgrew that and took over a gym in St Leonards and converted it into a church hall. In 2007 we took over a 600 seater venue in Hastings called St Mary in the Castle for 18 months, and then from 2010 we had our own building called St Peter & St Paul's, an old Anglican church building which had been closed down. St Peter & St Paul's comfortably holds up to 150 people. (We have had up to 400 people on special events!)
It's been quite an adventure and the journey has only just started. We have seen hundreds of people come through our doors including 2 or 3 who eventually, with our blessing, went on to start their own churches in towns across the UK, positively affecting even more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. One man from another town miles away heard about our church, drove all the way down to hear our speaker, got wonderfully saved and eventually started his own Christian ministry on YouTube, that now has over 140,000 subscribers and millions of views.
In 2004 we also broadcast on the Sky TV Platform across Europe, which lasted for two years and was a wonderful experience.
We are part of a group of churches called "Synergy Christian Churches", with Senior Pastors Andy and Gina Elmes from Portsmouth Family Church as the spiritual oversight.
Statement of Faith for Sonrise Church
For many years we have been members of the Evangelical Alliance and adhere to their statement of faith as follows:
We believe in:
The one true God who lives eternally in three persons — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
The dignity of all people, made male and female in God's image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ — born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers — given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit's gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
We also adhere to the 'statement of faith' of Synergy Christian Churches which we are part of and our own charity statement of faith which is available on request.