Baptist churches are found in almost every country in the world. As part of the world-wide Christian church, Baptists form one of the largest Christian World Communions, alongside other trinitarian Christian traditions such as Anglicans, Methodists, Reformed, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Salvation Army, Pentecostal etc.
For Baptists the concept of a covenanted community is important. The church is not so much a particular place or building, but rather a community of believers, committed to Christ, to one another and to the service of God in the world.
In this Baptist community everybody is equal, for everybody has a part to play in the service of God. There is no hierarchy of bishops or priests exercising authority over their members. Equality of status, however, does not mean that all have the same role.
Each local Baptist church appoints its own leaders – (ministers/deacons/elders) – to have particular responsibility for preaching, teaching and pastoral care. Working alongside this leadership team are others, who together with the leadership team form the strategic team of the local Baptist church.
Baptists are grass-roots people, with a particular emphasis on the local church. Shipley Baptist Church is self-governing and self-supporting. We choose to associate with others. Firstly, Baptist churches in the Bradford Metropolitan District, then in the Yorkshire Baptist Association, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Fellowship of British and Irish Baptists, the European Baptist Federation and the Baptist World Alliance. We cooperate in world mission with BMS World Mission.