What’s in a Name?
Quite a lot, actually. The name ‘Christadelphian’ is a compound of two Greek words: Christ and adelphos, meaning ‘Brethren of Christ.’ There is a Bible basis for the name – see, for example, Hebrews 2:11: “[Christ] is not ashamed to call them brethren.” While the name might seem a trifle cumbersome (though no more so than a lot of others), it has been around a long time, being coined in 1861.
How it All Started
Christadelphians regard themselves as following in the footsteps of the first-century church established by the apostles. Therefore they regard as a much less important matter when the modern-day Christadelphians started. In fact, a Dr John Thomas began the pioneering work with a book called ‘Elpis Israel’ in 1848. The book is still in print and still read! It provides a good summary of Bible teaching, but Christadelphians will admit of no authority other than the Bible itself.
There is no kind of Christadelphian ‘head office’ or ‘director’. Each Christadelphian church (ecclesia) is autonomous, albeit we do have a statement of faith. The CMPA (Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association), whose website we hope you will visit, does a great amount of co-ordination, but that is as far as its function goes.
Locally, Christadelphians are organised into ‘ecclesias’ (Greek again, for ‘church’). There is no objection to the word ‘church’, which occurs in the Authorised Version of the Bible, but generally Christadelphians speak of their own churches as ‘ecclesias’ to avoid confusion.
Where we Meet
Many Christadelphian ecclesias meet in rented accommodation, but there are also a number of ‘Christadelphian Halls’ in the UK. Lincoln Christadelphians meet in one of these. They are by and large very ordinary buildings, do not “look like” churches, and only a relatively small number have been purpose-built.
They say a picture paints a thousand words so we are saving considerable space by showing you the inside of Lincoln’s Christadelphian Hall, without people inside so you can see it better.
“Very ordinary,” you may say. Yes, seats, a platform, and that more or less sums it up.
The Christadelphian Week
All Christadelphian ecclesias have a weekly meeting which is usually called a ‘memorial service’ or ‘breaking of bread’. Only baptised Christadelphians take part in the service, but there is no discouragement to others attending (for example, the children of members or our youth groups).
Most ecclesias hold a Bible talk, very often on Sunday evenings, with a welcome extended to the general public. Sometimes these are described as ‘lectures’, which is an out-dated term we could do well to discard! They are often lively talks, sometimes illustrated with overhead projector or even occasionally PowerPoint presentation, about important Bible teachings.
In addition to these meetings, many ecclesias run a Sunday school, and there are youth groups up and down the country. There is very often a mid-week Bible class (Lincoln’s is on Tuesdays), and on many Saturdays there will be meetings held by one ecclesia to which others are invited to attend.
Lincoln Christadelphians Number