Who We Are
We are a tapestry of ordinary people that God has gathered from across this beautiful region of North Lancashire. We represent more than 13 nations and span different generations. Our passion is to see our lives and communities transformed by God’s amazing love.
We aim to grow as disciples of Jesus and see others grow into becoming disciples too. We treasure God’s word to inform us, His Spirit to transform us and His mission to drive us. We love where God has placed us and recognise that even though as Christians we are pilgrims, we are here for such a time as this.
We want to be an overflowing church and we are determined to be selfless servants not selfish consumers, living to bless, serve and encourage those around us. We realise that effective mission flows out of spiritual maturity that is driven by God-centred worship and therefore we intentionally pursue intimacy with God, seeing our gatherings as opportunities for fresh encounters. We express our encounter in the everyday life at home, work and in our neighbourhoods.
We want to be a discipling church - where we embrace discipleship as an everlasting everyday journey and not just a short term course - as we are intentional to grow as disciples of Jesus , being increasingly mistaken for Him. We see God’s Word as our philosophical foundation that leads to life transformation and we see God’s Spirit as essential to counselling, convicting and comforting us in our journey of discipleship. While we are on this life-long journey of apprenticeship to Jesus - we invite others travel with us - exploring and growing in Christ-likeness.
We want to be a family church and we want to be relational in everything we do, treasuring our unique personalities and stories and always seeing others as people and never as projects. We are ready to be patient and kind to one another as we aim to live in a community where risk and failure are seen as growing pains rather than enemies. We are committed to being diverse, reflecting our local community. We want to build environements where people feel safe to be authentic and drop their masks, experiencing God’s liberating grace. We are comfortable in embracing that we are all imperfect, resisting the plague of perfectionism - even when we strive for excellence.
We want to be a naturally supernatural church. We believe that the Christian life isn’t a religious observance of a set of rules but an intimate living relationship with God. We believe that we have to offer in the natural isn’t sufficient and long for God’s autograph in our daily journey of discipleship. We believe that - as Jesus' ambassadors - the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are essential to our maturity and mission. We desire to encourage a healthy practice of spiritual gifts in a humble, un-hyped, gentle and accountable attitude of loving and blessing others rather than seeking our own affirmation.
We belong to the Free Methodist movement and are part of the Evangelical Alliance. The Free Methodist Church (FMC) was first established in the United States in 1860 and in England in 1971. The congregation at Carnforth grew out of the Lancaster church and was organised as a Free Methodist Church on 6 December 1995. The Free Methodist Church is committed to the will of God as revealed in the Bible and is Wesleyan in doctrine and practice. It views local churches as mission outposts and pastors are appointed not only to serve a local congregation but to also to evangelise whole communities.
Cristi Murgu is Romanian-born and has served at CFM in various roles since 1998, after training at Birmingham Bible Institute. His desire is to be a ‘curator of gifts’, inspiring those around him to see that God Himself became our greatest gift and we ourselves are gifted to serve Him and impact our world. He will probably always have something to say about discipleship, small groups, preaching, politics, coffee, Aston Villa Football Club, The West Wing, and productivity.
Ian Ellershaw grew up in the Yorkshire countryside on his family’s farm and this has given him a great love for shepherding and the outdoors. One of his delights is sharing those things with his wife Heather and their 4 beautiful children, who don’t particularly share his love of test cricket or Match of the Day. After finishing at Lancaster University, he attended Capernwray Bible School and subsequently joined the staff, serving there for 14 years. It brings him deep joy to walk alongside people as they discover Jesus and as they understand more of His incredible life living in them.